Slavery role-playing on plantation school visit rankles educators

A Union County school has vowed never to send its children back to Latta Plantation after an African-American tour guide picked three black students out of a mostly white group to help re-enact the lives of slaves.

Plantation officials say there was no malicious intent, but they will always ask for volunteers in the future.

The controversy flared after fifth-graders from Rea View Elementary in Waxhaw traveled to northern Mecklenburg County last Wednesday to visit the historic cotton plantation.

About 60 were listening to a talk about the Civil War by veteran presenter Ian Campbell. As part of the talk, he also discussed slavery and the different types of work slaves did.

Latta Plantation Executive Director Kristin Toler said that as he talked about field hands' work, he called up three helpers, all African-American.

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