Chicago (CBS) – Controversy has surfaced over a school camping trip after a parent in South Holland says her daughter was traumatized by a school lesson about the Underground Railroad.
Every year, 6th graders at McKinley Elementary School study the Underground Railroad. In March, as in previous years, the students attended a four-day camping trip.
During the outing, school supervisors engaged the students in a re-enactment; however, one parent says it was not a positive learning experience and left her daughter upset. The school calls it a misunderstanding.
“All the black kids were slaves and all the other people were white,” says Dawn Peterson, a parent of one of the student’s who participated in the lesson.
“For anybody, for any tragedy that you go through, you can overcome, don’t stop. That’s what they got from it,” explains the school’s Principal, Jerome Ferrell.
The school says they did get positive feedback from some students, but will continue conversations as to whether they will continue that activity in the future. The school added the camping packet provided to parents lays out the camping itinerary.