They pretended their instructors were their masters.
But to hear Nature’s Classroom Director John G. Santos tell it, that’s just the way they do things in the education program, which has 13 locations throughout New England and New York.
Thousands of schoolchildren have attended the program in recent decades, and the Underground Railroad exercise — “one of 500 different activities that we do,” Director John G. Santos said — is only offered to groups of students who are staying for a few days.
The slavery re-enactment is an “activity that has validity, it’s an historical event, it’s a simulation,” Santos said Thursday. Although Nature’s Classroom is focused on ecology, “ecology includes humankind and we’re working on behalf, and with the schools, that have four major subjects, history being one of them, the social sciences another.”
The Bakers, on the other hand, are not buying it, which is why they voiced their criticisms at a recent school board meeting. “The fact that they used the n-word. I mean, how dare you say that to my child and call it an educational experience? How dare you say that to any child?” Sandra Baker said, according to WFSB.