A video has surfaced of students at a New Hampshire high school singing a Ku Klux Klan- inspired Christmas carol for what was supposed to be a school assignment.
According to the Portsmouth, N.H. edition of Patch, 11th grade students in an American History class were asked to write a song about what they learned about the Reconstruction era just after the Civil War. In response to that assignment they came up with a Jingle Bells remake that includes the refrain “Let’s kill all the blacks!”
A clip of the children singing the racist ditty in class went viral over the weekend. By Monday, school administrators were scrambling to investigate how something like that could have been permitted.
Monday morning, Superintendent William Harbron called the event “an incident of extreme racial insensitivity” in a letter sent to parents and posted on Facebook.
“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,” the letter read.
The offensive song also included the lyrics, “White masks on our heads, blood beneath our feet, laughing till they’re dead — ha, ha, ha.”
Students were reportedly heard laughing during the song although Habron has now clarified that the children did not know they were being recorded.
Neither Habron or DHS Principal Peter Driscoll believe the students had any malicious intent but agreed review whether the assignment was appropriate to begin with. Harbron also admits the educator should have stopped the song during the vetting process, or while the students were singing it in front of their classmates.
School officials have yet to determine if any of the students or their teacher will be disciplined for the display.
“We’re still trying to sort it out at this point,” explained Harbron. “Right now it’s getting the message out about what occurred, what we need to do differently, what can we learn from this, and how do we change our practices from the lessons learned so that everybody feels accepted and wanted here.”