Skip to comments.Student: Conn. Class Forced to Re-Enact Slavery
Posted on 09/20/2013 2:43:29 PM PDT by lowbridge
Middle school-aged students from Connecticut on a field trip last year were forced to re-enact slavery by pretending to be sold at auction and in fields picking cotton, according to a student's complaint. They were told they would be whipped or worse if they ran, and some were asked to dance for their masters.
"I had to hold my head down and could not make contact with the white masters," the 12-year-old student, who is black, said in a statement read to the Hartford school board this week by her father, James Baker of suburban Farmington. "I heard the instructor ask kids behind me to open their mouths so their teeth could be checked. Some were asked to jump up and down."
The girl, who was a seventh-grader at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, asserts that she and her classmates were traumatized and subjected to racial epithets during the November field trip to the Nature's Classroom, an environmental-based outdoor education program in Charlton, Mass., about 45 miles from Hartford. The family has filed a complaint against the school district.
In addition to pretending to be sold at auction and picking cotton, the students participated as slaves in a re-enactment of the Underground Railroad and simulated being on slave ships.
Instructors, acting as the oppressors, told them that while on the ship they would be forced to go to the bathroom on each other and would be thrown overboard if they got sick, the girl said.
"I went into a dark room where I had to sit on my bottom with my knees together," she said in the statement. "My legs fell asleep and were hurting."
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
I guess they felt the need to keep the hate going. No healing allowed.
How would you like to re-enact the crucifixion? See how that feels.
They might as well go all the way and demonstrate rape and beatings. It is essential to providing understanding.
Just when I think the educrats can’t be any dumber . . .
Why not practice to accept Islam?
I believe that teacher ought to feel what it’s like to have my mark branded into her skin.
Need to re-enact slavery? Then live normally like an American voter under the obama govt.
Bet they didn’t reenact the slavery of Billy Lee under George Washington. He lived better than most white farmers of his day.
What next, a reenactment of Auschwitz or Buchenwald?
Just keep stirring the hatred and scratch open the wounds.
Why not something more current to portray race relations here in America. Oh I don't know.. maybe force the white kids to stand around and be targets for the popular Knockout game.
The school administrators will use every chance they have to distort our history.
Stupid thing to do, but not racial unless black kids were singled out, which it doesn’t sound like they were.
This is, BTW, historically how all slaves have always been treated. Black slaves shipped across the Atlantic is only one chapter in a very long sad story.
I think this is a fine idea. As long as the kids understand that the slave-owner is a Democrat.
Exactly how is this relevant to their day-to-day interactions in 2013?
How about at least doing a few other things like:
Being a persecuted Christian in the middle east (or in today’s armed forces) and, of course, being tortured and killed (or just told to shut up in the case of the military).
Being a Jew forced into a gas chamber
Being a fetus that gets cut in two with scissors.
The possibilities are endless.
How about we put the instructor in a small plastic bag, then beat him with shovels...to simulate abortion.
Sooner or later they probably would
Some of my Russian ancestors were serfs. The Irish ones nearly starved in the potato famine, and lived horrible lives as indentured servants when they got here. One of those darn Germans was terrified that he was going to be hung as a horse thief before he escaped and came to the US. Come to think of it, maybe a better workshop would be "Everybody's got issues. Get over it"
How about a little girl being married off to a grown man?
I agree. It does not appear to be racial in nature; all students participated without regard to color. Is it just one family is trying to make a big deal out of it? I would have to hear both sides of the story before I judged this case. If I had a dime for every time someone played the race card because they were looking for a grievance where no justification existed, well... And it certainly would not be the first time a disgruntled problem student or parent whined about an imaginary sight or inconvenience. I want to hear both sides first.
I could not help but think of this video after reading about this train wreck of a field trip.
Sharecropping Field Trip (strong language)
My kids loved Nature’s classroom. Here is what they say about the incident:
Statement Regarding Underground Railroad Activity
For over 41 years Natures Classroom has proudly provided quality educational experiences to schools and communities throughout New England and New York. We design curriculum-based programming that coordinates with classroom learning. Natures Classroom welcomes and encourages evaluation and feedback on all of our educational activities. Every week dozens of school teachers, administrators and parents and hundreds of students evaluate the classes in which they have observed or taken part. Their comments, opinions and suggestions continuously make us better able to serve our visiting school communities.
The Underground Railroad activity was first offered about 20 years ago. It is one of hundreds of activities that schools can choose to do, or not do, based on their academic goals. Almost 200 schools see it as a valuable extension of their classroom lessons, and request it as one of their many activities. Other schools do not.
At Natures Classroom we value diversity and inclusiveness and we strive towards a better understanding of each other. Many of our activities encourage teamwork, working together to build bridges both literally and figuratively. The Underground Railroad activity is no exception.
During the Underground Railroad activity, we ask students to step into the role of an enslaved African trying to escape on the Underground Railroad. Teachers, administrators, and parents from the students school act as conductors. They guide groups of students on a walk through the woods. During the journey, the group meets and interacts with Natures Classroom teachers playing a variety of different characters. Some teachers represent abolitionists, giving the students a place to rest, food to eat, or hints or tips to travel safely. Some teachers represent bounty hunters, patrollers, or a sheriff, people looking for runaway slaves. This activity includes preparation before the journey and debrief after the journey. Our goal is to introduce students to some of the complexities and difficulties surrounding slavery, understand the courage it took to run, the courage it took to assist those running, and to draw connections between discrimination and prejudice then and discrimination and prejudice today.
In August 2013 Natures Classroom first learned that a complaint was filed with the Department of Education regarding the Underground Railroad activity. No details about the complaint were released at that time. Natures Classroom began an evaluation of this particular activity. We reached out to teachers and administrators in the almost 200 schools that chose to do the Underground Railroad program last year. We reached out to current and former Natures Classroom staff. We carefully reviewed the general feedback provided by the Connecticut Department of Education. We revised the programs goals and objectives. We redesigned aspects of the Underground Railroad program to better fit the new goals and objectives. And we put in place a long-term plan to reevaluate the design of the entire program within a year. We informed the schools that participate in this program of upcoming changes.
Yesterday we finally learned the details of the complaint from media sources. We were shocked to hear some of the comments included in the complaint. Natures Classroom does not condone the use of the n-word. We would have taken immediate disciplinary action, including dismissal, had we known of this concern. We began an investigation into the specific complaints yesterday. This investigation is ongoing, and we can share the following information at this time:
This school chose to do the Underground Railroad activity, as they have chosen to do for over 5 years.
Students are always able to remove themselves from the activity, or choose not to participate in the activity.
Students were never chased through the woods. They were, however, led walking through the woods by teachers from their school that acted as conductors. These conductors supervised the students. They supervised the students interactions with Natures Classroom teachers.
The teachers from the school that acted as conductors had the following feedback on the program: We had a very positive experience with [the] Underground Railroad. They did not bring up any concerns or mention any behavior as inappropriate.
During staff training, Natures Classroom teachers have conversations about appropriate and inappropriate language during this activity. This particular staff had a very specific conversation about never using the n-word.
No Natures Classroom teacher that was present that night, that we have been able to question so far, reports using or hearing the use of the n-word at any point during their careers as Natures Classroom teachers.
If this complaint does turn out to be valid, we offer our sincerest apologies for the comments made. Our intention is to empower students to be positive leaders in the face of discrimination, prejudice and bullying in their own lives today. The reaction of this particular child and her family are clearly not in line with our goals for the activity, and we are deeply sorry that this was their experience.
Dr. John G. Santos
CNN Breaking News followup, over at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Senior Academy... junior and sophomore students were told to kill their Jewish classmates and as homework, they were to burn the Jew's bodies in their home kitchen ovens and bring back the ashes for further review and grading--
President Obama commented at his daily post golfing swim, saying, "Praise Allah, they did not... insult any Moslems or desecrate the Islamic religion!"
This has been CNN Breaking News... Kent Brockmann reporting--
Maybe one of their other programs is about brothels
Looks more like creepy, controlling “educators” using children to act out their own bondage fantasies.
That is probably not far from the truth.
How close is this to one of the Marxist summer camps they run in this country?
Good addition to the list.
Were there any black kids in the class? Were they slaves too, or just masters (to spare their sensitivities)?
Will they include blacks selling other blacks into slavery?
Well, aren't year-round schools gaining in popularity? Or at least a lot of schools or other govt. entities run their own Camp Commie summer camps. Defacto slave compounds even without the weirdo role-playing stuff.
Sounds to me like some folks have a fat civil rights lawsuit on their hands for violations of the 14th amendment. Where are all the scumbag lawyers when they can actually do something useful?
Internet source: "A Democratic socialist from New York City, Owens stated in a 1995 speech on the House floor that during the African slave trade more than 200,000,000 people were thrown over the sides of the slave ships which carried them across the Atlantic, permanently disrupting the ecology and causing sharks to follow any and all ships since the trade was stopped in the 1850's. This figure worked out to be 152 slaves taken aboard nine ships per day for 200 years to get the total amount of slaves thrown overboard. After reworking his absurd figure down to 100,000,000 slaves, Owens' claim was picked up by ABC News, which reported the claim as 'fact'."