A complaint brought against the Hartford, Conn. school system alleges that instructors on a field trip asked Black students to reenact a moment of slavery last fall, complete with heavy usage of the n-word. A parent of a former female student at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy filed the complaint back in March, but now the case has been reignited after taking it to the school board.
The Hartford Courant reported yesterday (Sept. 19) that Sandra Baker filed the complaint on behalf of her 12-year-old daughter after she returned home from a field trip to Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, Mass. During a nighttime “Underground Railroad” skit led by camp instructors, the children were called “n-gger” and chased through the woods in the so-called historic lesson.
“I ask that you imagine these phrases being yelled at our 12-year-old child and their friends,” parent Sandra Baker said at the Hartford School Board meeting as reported by WFSB-TV. “‘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?'”
Mrs. Baker added, “They intentionally terrorized them and abused them on this field trip.”
Along with her husband James Baker, the family has been battling the case legally for the last 10 months and have since taken their daughter out of Hartford schools. To make matters even more curious, Nature’s Classroom’s director John G. Santos essentially thinks the exercise is a necessary teaching tool.
“No one at Nature’s Classroom would ever endorse the use of the N-word,” said Santos to the Courant. “Come on. Can it happen? Of course it can happen. Stupid things happen.”
Santos then said the students had a choice not to do the reenactment and it was explained to them what they would be experiencing. Despite prior negative feedback from students, Santos still thinks the slavery skit is something the kids should face head on.
[Props to Gawker]
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