Teacher suspended for letting student dress up in KKK costume
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A teacher has been suspended after they allowed a student to dress as a Klu Klux Klan leader.
Photos of the child wearing the costume on the school bus have been shared on social media.
Eighth grade students at Southern Middle School in Kentucky were given the opportunity to dress up to gain extra credits as part of the class' 'historical figures' assignment earlier this month.
And the unnamed teacher said it was fine for the pupil to come as the racist group's first grand wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
According to the superintendent of Pulaski County Schools, the board was informed of the shocking incident on Monday (15 May).
They then took the decision to suspend the teacher while an investigation was carried out by the Educational Professional Standards Board.
Patrick Richardson told LEX18 that he was 'extremely disappointed and embarrassed' by it.
“It sickens me that this has occurred," he told the outlet. "It embarrassed not only me but our school district and community.
“I'm angered by the lack of thoughtfulness that went into this situation.”
Whit Whitaker, from the Lexington-Fayette NAACP, also said it was utterly abhorrent that something like this was allowed to happen in 2023.
“What is your definition of hero, or of a historical figure?” he said. “Would he have done the same thing if he wanted to come as Charles Manson or Hitler?
"My initial response was outrage, but it's happened so many times.
"I think people get numb to it. They want to apologise later instead of stopping it before the fire gets out of control.
"This is nothing new, this is stuff that this country endorses. It's happened in Pittsburgh, a Pittsburgh school, it happened in California, it's happened in Texas."
While the teacher was suspended, the student has received no disciplinary action as they were allowed to wear the costume.
Jane Leclercq is the grandmother of another pupil at the school.
She said: “That teacher should be ashamed of [themselves].
“Why would a teacher actually approve something like that? I don't understand, I'm outraged, it's ridiculous.”
Kathy Townsend, a local community organiser, demanded the teacher be punished for their actions rather than simply suspended.
"This is harmful," she said. "When I was young, I was scared to just see pictures of the KKK, so can you imagine what students at Southern Middle who aren't white children [felt]."
Featured Image Credit: LEX 18
Topics: US News