Seniors travel to Freedom Center for lessons on slavery

While underclassmen spent the day in ACT and state testing, the senior class took a field trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on March 21.

The seniors spent the school day touring the Freedom Center learning about modern day slavery and African American history. The visit also included the virtual reality experience of Rosa Park’s Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. The Rosa Parks virtual reality experience was designed by Möbius Virtual Foundry, which debuted in Dec. 2016. It was created to teach a new generation about the Civil Rights Movement from the first person perspective.

“The students didn’t necessarily need it, but I wanted the students to get to know themselves and have empathy for people that are being discriminated against. I wanted to put them in another person’s shoes and become more aware of others,” Theology teacher Teresa Davis said.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph donated $2500 to help pay the cost of the trip. After the donation, the price of each student dropped from $17 to $4.

“I learned most about the slavery and human trafficking that goes on to this day. I did not think it was that big. Learning how the trade of slaves back in the day worked was shocking to me. I thought the Rosa Parks virtual reality was a memorable experience. It really felt like I was in her shoes,” senior Alex Burch said.

“I learned that there are several different types of slavery that still exist in this world. The most shocking thing to me was when I heard the story of a mom who killed her children in order to save them from slavery,” senior Ashley Lathon-Calhoun said.

“The Freedom Center loved our students, so we have started a small fund to raise money for future senior classes to take the same field trip to the Freedom Center,” Davis said.

Seniors Elizabeth Beck, Jared Taylor, Alex Burch, Angela Bolan, and Cole Wheeler take part in the Rosa Parks Experience by sitting on bus seats during the short virtual reality session. On March 21, seniors traveled to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to learn about modern day slavery.

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