Cobb County

Mother says Civil War day at school went horribly wrong

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A so-called Civil War day at a metro-Atlanta school led to a new battle.

Many of the students dressed up in Civil War-era clothing for the event at a Cobb County school. A mother says a classmate dressed in costume called her son a slave.


“It was a gut punch.  It was a gut punch,” said the mother, Corrie Davis. Davis said she could almost see this coming.

“They told me about this day.  And I knew then that it was divisive,” she said.

Channel 2's Justin Wilfon obtained the flyer explaining the lesson. It's a day at Big Shanty Intermediate School when students not only learn about the war, but also dress up in Civil War-era clothing.

Several years ago Davis kept her older son home from the event, but this year her 10-year-old son wanted to go, without knowing what he would face.

“He went to school that day and saw one of his friends, and he said 'Hey, what are you dressed up as?' And he said 'I’m a plantation owner and you’re my slave,'” she said.

Davis tells me her son, who was not dressed up, walked away, and didn’t tell her until a week later.

“It was a gut punch. It was a gut punch," she said.

In a statement to Channel 2 Action News, Cobb County Schools spokesperson John Stafford did not address what the student allegedly said but did say the following:

No student was required to dress in period attire and any student that did so was not instructed, nor required, to dress in any specific attire.

Davis wants Big Shanty to teach kids about the Civil War, but wants the dress-up portion of the lessons to go away. A battle, she’s willing to keep fighting.

“I talked to the school several times. They refused to tell me they wouldn’t do it anymore.  She didn’t say yes.  She didn’t say no.  And that’s not good enough,” she said.

Wilfon asked the district if they would consider getting rid of the dress-up portion of Civil War Day. So far they’ve not responded.