School Field Trip to Watch Slavery Reenactment Goes Too Far

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HartfordMagnet Trinity College Academy
HartfordMagnet Trinity College Academy
Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy

Like most schools, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, a magnet school in Hartford, Connecticut takes fields trips to enrich the student learning experience. However, one annual field trip has parents angry about the schools decision-making.

According to the Huffington Post, the “Underground Railroad Reenactment” held at Nature’s Classroom takes realism to another level with white role players playing the role of masters and bounty hunters mixed with racial slurs and students pretending to pick cotton.

James and Sandra Baker, parents of a student at the school testified before the Hartford Board of Education to express their disapproval with the field trip, which other parents have also done, the first time being in 2008.

During The Baker’s testimony, Sandra Baker gave examples of statements made by the role players during the field trip:

“Bring those n—— to the house over there”
“Going to get the dogs to eat you”
“N—– if you can read, there is a problem”
“You’re an animal working in the fields the rest of your life” “You don’t have any rights, we own you”

“Dumb dark skinned negro person how dare you look at me”
“How dare you look those dark eyes at me, I am higher than you” “Don’t look me in the eyes you’re worthless keep your head down” “You will be fed twice a day, water and crumbs”
“You’re not a person, you’re’ property”
“If you get sick, you will be thrown off the boat”

As an African American parent, I carefully consider how my children receive messages about racial identity, and I do this because all too often these messages are not positive. There is no way I would have allowed our child to participate in this aspect of the field trip had we be given the choice.

 

Would you be upset if your child’s school attended this field trip? Let us know how you feel.

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