Rock Hill Schools apologizes, makes additional changes to controversial field trip

A FOX 46 investigation got results Thursday night for parents in Rock Hill who were outraged over a school field trip.

The school superintendent made his first public appearance in front of a crowd since FOX 46 broke the story last month. He was scheduled to apologize to parents at an event hosted by the Rock Hill NAACP.

“Tonight, I am here with you to share final comments and bring closure to the recent event highlighted at the Carroll School,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Cook.

The superintendent spoke in front of a packed conference room. Parents sat in the audience anxious to hear what he had to say after FOX 46’s Matt Grant brought to light the questionable field trip. 

On the trip to the Carroll School, students picked cotton and sang what some consider slave songs. Some parents felt the trip made a mockery of slavery.

When FOX 46 Investigator Matt Grant confronted the district last month, they said the issue wasn’t a story and shut down his interview.

“We are continuing to look for ways to communicate this experience,” said Superintendent Bill Cook Thursday night.

The district announced a video will now be shown to students to educate them about the Carroll School. The trip is still on, but the cotton picking portion has been eliminated. Rock Hill Schools will also now offer more sensitivity training.

“I am 100% pleased because it’s about the results,” said Dr. Norma Gray from the Rock Hill NAACP.

FOX 46 helping the Rock Hill community get those results by bringing the attention of the video to the NAACP, who immediately met with district leaders.

“When we finally did sit down the school district had already begun to address it and look into the matter when we met with them,” said Dr. Gray.

The majority of the statement from the superintendent Thursday night was a written statement already issued to parents in the district last week.

FOX 46 requested a one on one interview with the superintendent, but were told he wouldn’t be speaking with the media.