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During a Nature’s Classroom field trip organized by Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy last year, a 12-year-old black girl was forced to pretend she was a slave as part of a historical reenactment. During the simulation she was called the N-word, chased through the woods, and threatened with physical violence including whipping and cutting her Achilles. Nature’s Classroom has been criticized for this same reenactment in the past, but continues do it.

Now, Sandra and James Baker—the girl’s parents—have taken their complaints to the Connecticut School Board and the Human Rights Commission after 10-months of trying to get an apology from their daughter’s former school. Other students who went on the same trip were recently debriefed, and described being similarly horrified by the experience.

Are they stupid? Bad enough that they did this. But then, when called on it, nobody apologizes? And they keep doing the reenactments? One would like to believe they are clueless. But it would seem something else is at work here.
Nature's Classroom drew condemnation several years ago for the same reenactment. Karen Saakvitne and Denise Elliot complained after their 5th grader told them about the experience, and Nature's Classroom defended the simulation. Their daughter's school continues its trips to Nature's Classroom, but has stopped participating in the reenactment.
Is it really the 21st Century?

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, Barriers and Bridges, Support the Dream Defenders, and Black Kos community.

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