- Video footage shows fifth graders from Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School in Rock Hill, South Carolina, being instructed to sing a slave song and pick cotton.
- The video was filmed while the students were on a field trip to the Carrol School, which was built in 1929 for African-American students during the Great Depression and now serves as a historical center.
- Parents were left outraged after seeing the video, and the school said it is investigating the incident.
Fifth graders at a school in South Carolina were reportedly told to pick cotton and sing a slave song while on a field trip during Black History Month.
Cell phone footage obtained by Fox 46 Charlotte shows fifth graders from Ebenezer Avenue Elementary in Rock Hill, South Carolina, picking cotton in a field.
The students were on a field trip to the Carrol School, which was built in 1929 for African-American students during the Great Depression. It now serves as an African-American history teaching center.
The video goes on to show the students being instructed to sing: “I like it when you fill that sack. I like it when you don’t talk back. Make money for me.”
Fox 46 Charlotte said parents had to sign permission slips for the field trip, which reportedly mentioned cotton picking as part of a history lesson into the Great Depression.
But many parents were left outraged after seeing the video, and State Rep. John King issued a statement to Greenville News calling the trip “insensitive and inaccurate.”
“Something has gone terribly wrong when slavery is treated as a ‘game,’ when children leave a field trip with the impression that a mockery can be made of their ancestors’ oppression. When we portray a sugar-coated version of history, one of happily picking cotton and singing songs, then we miss an opportunity to teach the truth,” he said.
Chief Academic and Accountability Officer Dr. John Jones told Fox 46 that Rock Hill Schools is investigating the incident.
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