Teacher placed on leave after students' racist 'KKK' Christmas song goes viral

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Wednesday 05 December 2018 13:45
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A teacher in New Hampshire has been placed on leave after students were caught on video singing a song about the Ku Klux Klan to the tune of 'Jingle Bells'.

The teacher was placed on administrative leave during an investigation by school officials after footage of two students singing about killing black people and the KKK for an assignment went viral online.

The 11th grade (year 12) assignment in a US history class was to change the lyrics to a Christmas jingle and tell a story about the Reconstruction, which is a historical period of time after the Civil War.

The shocking lyrics included lines which said: "White masks on our heads, blood beneath our feet, laughing till they're dead - ha, ha, ha", and, "KKK, let’s kill all the blacks, burn a cross on their front yard."

Chloe Harris, another student told NBC10 Boston (with permission from her mum) that she recorded the song as ‘evidence’ that it happened. She added:

I went to the teacher. I said I'm not really comfortable with these lyrics. I don't know why they need to sing it. I don't know why they need to present it in such an insensitive way.

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Harris, who is biracial, said she had become frustrated by "everyone laughing", and became so disgusted she walked out of the class.

Harris added that her teacher told her she couldn’t record it, but the two students who had created the song said she could.

She later uploaded her footage to her Snapchat account.

The Dover School District released a statement on its Facebook page and called it an "incident of extreme racial sensitivity".

They continued:

We are deeply concerned that an event such as this could occur and understand the emotion and concern this event will create for our students, families and staff.

Families and school community members will be updated as we create opportunities to come together and discuss process, and plan as a community to address both the immediate situation and long-term implications of racial insensitivity and implicit bias.

The school’s response to the incident was seen by many on the Facebook page as weak.

Steph George wrote: "From what we can all see, this is FAR beyond 'racial insensitivity' and 'implicit bias'. It’s racism and white supremacy. Clear and simple.”

Jen Sommerer added:

Shameful. I’m a teacher and this is just shameful. There are many other ways this assignment could have been handled in a meaningful way but to do it like this is wrong, hurtful, and I hope not representative of the culture and climate of the school and community.

"I got the details of the incident from my son when he came home from school, Facebook user AUS LP revealed. ‘I’m disgusted and horrified. Several kids felt very uncomfortable by the assignment and didn’t know what to do. Teachers are supposed to be role models. I’m livid."

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