If your kids' school sent home a permission slip asking for them to take part in a slavery re-enactment on a field trip, what would you do? Freak? Now what if the school sent your kid off to "play" slaves, complete with "masters" chasing you through the woods, screaming the "n-word" ... and didn't warn you?
Parents of seventh graders at a Connecticut school are hopping mad right now because they say that's exactly what happened to their kids. They sent their kids off on a four-day trip to the Nature's Classroom in Charlton, Massachusetts, with their school, and the kids came home shell-shocked.
According to mom Sandra Baker, her daughter -- who is black -- was forced to play a slave in a re-enactment that included being told:
Bring those (n-word) to the house over there. (N-word) if you can read, there's a problem. Dumb, dark-skinned (n-word). How dare you look at me?
No child should be put through that -- history lesson or no history lesson. Could you imagine signing your kid up for that?
The Bakers said they didn't. They OK'd a field trip, not an evening of racist cruelty.
I tend to believe them. What parent in their right mind would OK something like that?
I'm upset on their behalf, on their daughter's behalf, and more than a little uneasy on the behalf of parents everywhere. If this is the kind of thing a school doesn't think they have to run past parents, what else could we be signing our kids up for when we send them on a field trip?
I'll cop to having just signed on the dotted line when the permission slip comes home. I've figured it's a trip for kids, the school must know that it's appropriate, right? Right?
Clearly not always. This should never have happened to the kids from the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, nor should it happen to any kid, anywhere.
Does your kids' school spell out what will happen on a field trip?
Image via bsabarnowl/Flickr