Strange (emphasis added):
The exercise was incorporated into a fifth-grade history lesson titled “Rome, Ruler of the Ancient World” at Eagle’s Nest Christian Academy, a school in Milton for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
The five students who were auctioned off to classmates had low merit points, said Reyes’ mother, Margaret, who called the lesson “demeaning.”
The school says that “(i)t was for one day only and students were not slaves but paid servants,” The task was to carry the books of their masters/employers, but, again according to the school, no one was actually compelled to do it.
What I find curious was the reference to “merit points.”
It’s difficult to tell whether this was an attempt to teach or to punish or some teacher’s idea of cutesy-poo pedagogical creativity.
But it is definitely strange.