A Missouri high school teacher was suspended this week after allowing a ninth-grade student to wear a Ku Klux Klan costume to class during a study group presentation, according to the New York Daily News
The unnamed teacher works in the Poplar Bluff R-I School District in Poplar Bluff, Mo., where the incident occurred Friday.
Without any pushback, the student, whose name cannot be legally released because he is a minor, was allowed to wear the symbol of a group known for its racist and bloody savagery against Blacks, dating back to the Reconstruction era after the Civil War. The presentation was about, of all things, the 15th Amendment, which gave African Americans the right to vote.
“As part of the presentation, students discussed the adverse historical actions of certain organizations that actively engaged in the suppression of voter rights,” a statement from the Poplar Bluff School District read.
According to local news station KFVS, the district also maintains that the student wasn’t acting with “discriminatory intent.”
A Missouri teacher's been suspended after a 9th grader dressed up as a member of the Ku Klux Klan as part of a history class presentation. The student wore a white robe/hood, as part of a group assigned to the 15thA — on voting rights regardless of race or color, KFVS reports. pic.twitter.com/jBtCtCiD4J
— ?Koko ✊?✊?✊?? (@Kokomothegreat) November 14, 2018
“I want to sincerely apologize for the pain and negative attention that I have brought to our classroom, school and community,” the teacher, who has now been suspended for the lapse in judgement, explains in a letter.
“I made a mistake on (Nov. 9) during our skit assignment. I let a student wear an inappropriate costume that was unacceptable and hurt many people’s feelings. As the professional in the room, I should have known better. I am sorry.
“I understand that healing and forgiveness take time, and I am absolutely OK with that,” the letter continues.
While all parties involved have extended apologies, Poplar Bluff Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill says there is no excuse for what happened.
“There’s no context for this,” Dr. Dill said. “There’s no point at which anyone in our public school system is going to say that this is okay. 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.”