Teacher Who Let Students Dress Like KKK Was Giving an Important History Lesson

Say What!? 17

Clark County School District officials in Las Vegas are not faulting a high school teacher for letting two kids dress up as members of the Ku Klux Klan for a U.S. history presentation.

It seems as though a couple of students were wearing their costumes outside of the classroom and got captured on social media. Because duh -- kids will be kids, and in today’s world, everything is documented digitally.

The students and teacher were not identified, but Principal Scott Walker of Las Vegas Academy sent home a letter after the incident that read:

While the presentation was designed to highlight the atrocities committed by the Klan, and there was no intention to harm or offend on the part of the students, it was in poor judgment and inappropriate for students to go to such lengths to convey their message.

Linda Young, a Clark County school trustee and only black and minority school board member, stated that the teacher has her support. She doesn’t believe the teacher meant any harm, and she hadn’t received any complaints from the public.

A big high-five to Ms. Young for not making this molehill into a politically correct mountain.

Here’s the thing about racism and the KKK -- that happened. No amount of glossing over history can take it back. It was awful and terrible and unfair and I’m sure the VAST majority of Americans today wish it wasn’t part of our history, but it is.

I think it’s important to teach our kids about the brutalities of the past, so they may hopefully not repeat them in the future. One of the best ways to learn something is through reenactment. Both the participants and the audience are able to retain knowledge that they ‘experienced’ rather than just read about in a dry history book for much longer than they would otherwise.

History teachers are supposed to teach kids about history, and that includes things like slavery, racism, and the Ku Klux Klan. To deny teachers the freedom to creatively teach their students about the past does a disservice to everyone.

What do you think about this teacher’s controversial teaching techniques?


Image via lee.ekstrom/Flickr

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