Children's Slavery Lesson Upsets Charlotte NAACP Leader

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A controversial history lesson left parents and teachers upset in Union County.

The teachers plan to write letters to leaders at the historic Latta Plantation about their disapproval of a hands-on history lesson during a Rea View Elementary class trip Wednesday.

During a lesson on the Civil War, tour guide Ian Campbell, who is himself black, made black students pretend to be slaves in front of their white classmates.

Campbell said he's been a historian for more than 15 years.

"I am very enthusiastic about getting kids to think about how people did things in 1860, 1861 -- even before that period," he said.

One parent said Campbell took his enthusiasm too far when he picked three black elementary school children out of a group of mostly white students to play the role of cotton picking slaves during a his hands-on history lesson. The parent said the students were also made to wear bags used to gather cotton around their necks.

Campbell said, "I was trying to be historically correct not politically correct."

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