A field trip for Atlanta third graders to the Center for Civil and Human Rights was abruptly canceled.
Morris Brandon Elementary School parents were told in an email that the subject matter is simply too emotional for the kids.
That did not sit well with parent Kristen Toliver.
“The atrocities that African Americans had to go through, that’s emotional,” Toliver said. “I’m over 35 years old, and I still cry over scenes of that part of our history.”
Toliver was sad that the third grade class, which includes her daughter, missed out on the learning experience when Morris Brandon Elementary School canceled Monday’s field trip at the last minute.
“What better age to catch them when they’re younger, when their minds are so impressionable to discuss these things,” stated Toliver.
In a statement APS sent Channel 2’s Wendy Corona, it clarified the cancelation.
“The administrators believe this field trip would be more appropriate for older students. The museum will continue to be offered as a trip for fifth grade students,” the statement said.
Morris Brandon fifth graders visited the museum earlier in the year.
In an email to parents from the school, their visit was called “a very rich, though emotional, experience that third graders may not be prepared to handle.”
Wednesday afternoon, Jason Villar viewed the exhibits with his second grade son’s class from Clairmont Elementary in Decatur.
“I think it was more emotional for the parents and chaperones than it was for the kids,” Villar said. “This really helped to reinforce some of the things that they’ve been studying.”
Toliver believes Morris Brandon Elementary School missed an opportunity to make an impact.
“It’s not about emotions. It’s about that it’s culturally uncomfortable to talk about. But guess what? We’ll never get over that if we don’t talk about it,” said Toliver.
Do you think young children shouldn’t be allowed to visit centers like the Civil Rights Museum because it’s too emotional?
Dustin Chambers for The New York Times
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