|A representative from the Rock Hill School District told ABC News the field trip was a "unique learning opportunity"
"As part of the fifth-grade curriculum, students study the Great Depression time period, and this field trip helps students
make real-life connections to this era in American history," Mychal Frost, director of marketing and communications for the
Rock Hill Schools said in a statement obtained by the outlet.
The Rock Hill School district issued a second statement on Friday saying that the songs sung were not intended "to sound
like, or in any way be a 'slave song' as it has been characterized," according to ABC News.
State Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, released a statement Thursday saying what happened on the trip was "insensitive and
"Something has gone terribly wrong when slavery is treated as a ‘game,’ when children leave a field trip with the impression
that a mockery can be made of their ancestors’ oppression," King said. "When we portray a sugar-coated version of
history, one of happily picking cotton and singing songs, then we miss an opportunity to teach the truth.”