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Underground Railroad Field Trip Update

Monday, March 9, 2009 - 4:57pm

Students preparing to dress up as slaves for a history lesson. We told you about the controversial field trip for Holy Family School in Port Allen last week. The trip went on as planned, minus the costumes. But as Kianga Kelley tells us, one parent feels it wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

It was a questionable flyer suggesting that students dress as slaves during a class field trip. Some parents complained that this fourth grade history lesson was inappropriate and borderline racist.

Melanie Fleming says she almost kept her son from participating in the class activity for fear of retaliation, but opted to join her son’s class during their Underground Railroad field trip. 10-year-old Neal Fleming was one of many students to participate in the Underground Railroad experience, but unlike 200 years ago, Neal and his classmates were escorted by two police officers for safety. “I just don’t like what hey had to go through because everybody should be equal.”

Wearing school uniforms instead of the suggested attire, Fleming says it wouldn’t have hurt. “ It would’ve been okay if the children dressed maybe in raggedy clothes or something you know, just kind of bring it home. I do not think it would’ve been a bad thing.” Fleming believes the flyer was blown out of proportion. She says her son’s teacher is courageous for doing whatever it takes to educate students. “This is a part of history that it happened and it’s unfortunate, but we need to learn from it.” Neal says, “I feel that it’s a great lesson for all students that all students need to learn.”

This is the third year that fourth graders at the school have taken part in the interactive field trip across Port Allen.