Kids Forced to Act Like Slaves on Field Trip

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A field trip fail! Two Hartford, Connecticut parents have filed a human rights complaint against the school district after their 12-yr-old daughter was forced to act like a slave on a school field trip.

Last year, Sandra and James Barker sent their daughter, then a student at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, on a four-day class trip to the Nature’s Classroom program in Charlton, MA.

Their daughter, who is African American, came home with horror stories. She says on the third night of camp they were forced to act like slaves. Some of the things she says they were forced to “reenact” were:

  • They pretended to be on a slave ship.
  • They pretended to pick cotton.
  • They pretended their instructors were their masters.
  • They were chased through the woods and called “n” word by instructors

The Bakers said the program told kids they didn’t have to participate in the Underground Railroad skit, but were only told about the re-enactment 30 minutes before it was to start.

This is not the first time there have been complaints about the camp, but the complaints did not stop this school and several other Connecticut school systems from continuing to participate in the “skit.”

No matter what the student’s race was, this horrible experience affected them all equally. It would have been the same thing if they would have made them pretend to be Jewish people in concentration camps and the instructors pretended to be Nazis. I’m all for teaching history through re-enactment but this was taking it to the extreme. At the end of the day the only lesson they’ll learn is that they never want to go back to this camp again.

And that’s today’s helping of The Online Dish with Maggie.