Missouri Teacher Suspended After Student Wore KKK Costume To Class For History Presentation
“There’s no point at which anyone in our public school system is going to say that this is OK," said the school district's superintendent.
November 14, 2018 at 11:43 pm
A Missouri teacher has been suspended after a student wore a Ku Klux Klan costume during a presentation.
Last Friday, the Poplar Bluff High School student wore the costume during a history class presentation for an assignment about constitutional amendments, according to KFVS. The students were divided into groups and assigned an amendment. The students in the group featuring the costume were supposed to cover the 15th Amendment, which ensures “the rights of citizens to vote would not be denied or abridged by the United States on account of race or color.”
Poplar Bluff School District Superintendent Scott Dill said the students were instructed to discuss “the adverse historical actions of certain organizations that actively engaged in the suppression of voter rights.”
The Ku Klux Klan has a history of voter suppression.
A student in the class posted a picture of the student in the costume to Snapchat, The Springfield News-Leader reports. A screenshot of that image was posted to Facebook by Poplar Bluff alum Brianna Anthony; Anthony's post went viral.
"I’ve never ever heard of a history teacher who said it was OK to use a KKK costume for a project. Because when people walk into that classroom and see that uniform, that’s automatically a red flag,” Anthony said.
The teacher, who has not been named, will remain on suspension while the district investigates. The teacher wrote an apology letter that was read to students on Monday morning.
“It is my job to ensure my students feel safe in class and at school,” the instructor wrote. “Because of my lapse in judgment, many of you were hurt and felt uncomfortable. I never wanted that to happen. I think of my classes as my family, and I would never intentionally offend or hurt any of you.”
Dill hopes this incident will serve as a lesson.
“There’s no context for this,” Dill said. “There’s no point at which anyone in our public school system is going to say that this is OK. It is very obvious that this can’t happen in any setting anywhere, and so we will do our best to ensure that we do what we do best, which is education. And we will make sure that our students, our teachers, and our community understand the context, understand what is acceptable and what will never be acceptable.”
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