More parents speak out about controversial field trip - WFSB 3 Connecticut

More parents speak out about controversial field trip

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Another parent came forward Friday about a controversial field trip where their children were forced to act like slaves.

Debra Jervis contacted Channel 3 Eyewitness News after hearing other parents speaking out about the school field trip.

Jervis' son is a junior now at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy. Four years ago he and his seventh grade classmates also went on a field trip to Massachusetts to take part in an educational program at Nature's Classroom. One of the classes was a slavery reenactment.

Debra Jervis said, "they were going to be going in ships and they were going to get their teeth checked and they were basically called the 'N-Word.'

Jervis had no idea any of this happened until earlier this year when she found out from other parents. Jervis said her son is quiet and never mentioned it, but when she asked him about the trip he opened up about what happened and admitted it bothered him.

"My son is a boy of few words" Jarvis said, "and that's the scary thing. If you do have a child that doesn't communicate that much, you never know what they're going through."

In a study done by Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy after a complaint was filed about the field trip, the school randomly sampled 72 students who went on the trip.

Some students said they "felt like it was real, felt like a real slave." Another said it "did not feel like it was a joke" and they "did not know if the leaders were joking." Another student said they "started to believe some of the things the group leaders were saying."

There was also some good feedback about how it was a learning experience and how all of the students surveyed stated they would recommend this activity to other seventh graders.

Jervis said the school should let parents know ahead of time what the reenactment is made up of so they can talk to their children about it.

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