While the America we live in today is far different from the one where Black people were enslaved and discriminated against based solely on skin color, remnants of the past still have a way of popping up in the present.
That was the case over in Pulaski County earlier this week when a Kentucky history teacher was suspended after letting one of her middle school students wear a Klu Klux Klan robe to school for an assignment.
He was doing a report on the first KKK Grand Wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
There’s a “both-sides-can-be-true-at-once” aspect going on here, which has been creating arguments on both sides over the past few days. On one hand you have the sheer vulgarness of a KKK robe itself, with just the sight of one being enough to cause controversy. In this case, you have to really ask yourselves: who wants to send their Black children on a bus one morning to see a classmate decked out in the most racist of memorabilia? On the other end, are the kids really that pressed about it themselves?
Southern Middle School eighth grader Jaxson Clark, a student in the classroom where the viral assignment originated, told LEX 18 that his teacher didn’t deserve suspension, boldly stating with parental permission, “There was no racist movement behind it. I mean there was Black kids in the classroom, they all thought it was good. Nobody felt targeted.” [sic]
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what exactly happened, via LEX 18:
“The student chose, and was approved to wear, a costume depicting Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first KKK Grand Wizard, Clark said.
‘He came in on Friday morning trying to wear it in school, so she took it from him and told him he could wear it during the assignment and she would give it back to him at the end of the day.’
Clark thinks the student put it on while on a school bus. He provided LEX 18 video originally downloaded from Tik Tok that he said showed the student wearing the costume on the bus.”
The aforementioned student makes the argument that his Black colleagues saw it as nothing more than a class assignment, yet the eagerness to wear it on the bus definitely gives way for major side-eye. Still, there is something to be said about what is considered offensive from generation to generation — don’t even get us started on The N-Word debate!
“You can’t be mad over a school assignment that teaches history; you have to learn history to make sure you don’t redo it,” says classmate Clarkson. Pulaski County superintendent Patrick Richardson didn’t quite agree, stating in the same article, “It embarrassed not only me but our school district and community. I’m angered by the lack of thoughtfulness that went into this situation.”
Like we said earlier…both things can be true at once.
Take a look below at what some are saying on social media, and let us know if you think a KKK robe could ever truly be used as an educational prop:
- Leaders Speak Out Against KKK Recruitment Flyers Being Distributed To Residents
- Newspaper Owner Who Called for Klan to ‘Ride Again’ Loses Black Editor That Envisioned New Direction
- Editor Who Called For KKK Revival And Lynchings Removed From College Hall Of Fame
Can A KKK Robe Ever Be Used In Education? Kentucky History Teacher Sparks Debate was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
1. Personally it’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression that’s a W teacher
2. For a teacher to allow a student to dress up as the 1st grand wizard master or wtfever KKK outfit on in 8th gr. Is asinine. Despite it happening in Kentucky, it should not be normal in 2023. That goes to show these kids are being taught&passing down the hatred stemming from 1800!
3. Suspended? She needs to be fired permanently and she needs to lose her teaching license because she is NO teacher!
4. One thing I’ve learned as I got older even though I knew, most people actually don’t care about racism. They are forced to talk about it when it’s a subject but they find the conversation to be more uncomfortable than the actual act or example of racism.
5. God forbid CRT is in school tho…
6. my senior year, my english teacher gave us a project on debating topics we didn’t agree with. one topic was holocaust denial, which i took and made an elaborate presentation full of propaganda & everything at the end of the year he told me he would never do that project again
7. Who cares! It’s just a costume. Society needs to stop being so damn sensitive.
8. Context should probably matter but still. I bet more students paid attention that day, it’s all for the effect. Shock value.
9. The parents said “oh that sounds great son, I got one you can wear in the closet from back in the days” 🤣😂
10. Both the KKK and extra credit assignments have no place in schools. Also, not our Pulaski. Phew.