Elementary School Teacher Suspended For Asking Students To Justify The KKK

Photographed by Ruby Yeh
The assignment, which was posted to Facebook by the uncle of a student, asked the fifth-graders to imagine being on both sides of the KKK after the Civil War.
It sounds eerily similar to Donald Trump's post-Charlottesville comments and is a disturbing reminder that this type of rhetoric has been normalized.
As the photo shows, the two prompts begin with "You are there..." and then ask students two questions: "You are a member of the KKK. Why do you think your treatment of African Americans is justified?" and "You are a freedman. Are you satisfied with your new life? Why or why not?"
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Cooper said that his 10-year-old nephew was brought to tears by the assignment. "HOW CAN SHE ASK A 5TH GRADER TO JUSTIFY THE ACTIONS OF THE KKK???" he wrote.
The teacher was suspended after furious parents and family members contacted the school district and local media outlets. "We took immediate action to investigate once the concerns over the assignment were brought to our attention, and the teacher has been placed on administrative leave as part of our standard personnel investigation procedures," the school district said in a statement provided to News19.
"South Carolina standards for 5th grade require lessons on Reconstruction and discriminatory groups including the KKK," the statement continued. "We must teach the standard, but we are taking steps to ensure this particular assignment will never be used again in District Five schools. We understand the seriousness of this matter particularly in light of the events taking place in our country at this time."
Refinery29 has reached out to Oak Pointe Elementary School for comment.
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