No, my child will not be recreating history for your sick mind!
How young is TOO young to recreate history?
Which part of our history should be recreated and at what age?
When does recreating history draw the line between appropriate and culturally insensitive?
These questions are questions that I ask myself a lot when I hear these stories. The first time I heard about children recreating history was when I was doing a project in my psychology of the African American child class in college. I shocked the class when I presented an article of kindergarteners reenacting hangings at a Louisiana university. Although the children were being held so no one really got hurt but why that age?
Fast forward ten years later and we have two different schools in New Jersey within the same district under fire for reenacting history. One school had a fifth grade project during their colonial age lesson to make slave auction posters and wanted signs for runaway slaves. The other school had a substitute teacher who thought it to be intriguing to reenact a slave auction by pretending to sell one of their fellow students. The superintendent apologized for this and said that it wasn’t in the lesson plan.
I just don’t see any justification in reenacting slavery, genocide, slave auctions, or wars to our young children. Yes, it teaches them history. When did it stop becoming age appropriate? My parents, grandparents, and great grandparents had to live that part of history and injustice. You are taught as you grow.
Our kids do need to understand history but our children do not need to recreate slavery, holocaust, genocides, trail of tears, or any wars to understand the importance of history.
What does this do to the psychological aspect of the child’s mind being on the receiving end of this lesson plan?
What made it okay to renenact just this? Just slavery?
We do not need to recreate the pains of our history to please someone’s fantasy of what it would have looked like.
I say stop it! There is no reason for my elementary age child to be recreating being sold on the block. There is no reason for my child to recreate being hung as their ancestors were.
Does it really change the importance of history to live it?
Our parents and grandparents lived through it so one day we wouldn’t have to. Why the hell should we recreate it? Knowing our history is a great thing. History should be taught at an appropriate age. My child will not be traumatized because you want to recreate something that held our ancestors captive.
No, my child will not be recreating history for your sick twisted mind!
Click on the link below to go to the New Jersey school incident.