PULASKI COUNTY,Kentucky– A middle school teacher in southern Kentucky has been suspended pending an investigation into a controversial assignment.
The suspension follows the emergence of a video showing a student wearing a Ku Klux Klan costume on a school bus.
Pulaski County Superintendent Patrick Richardson confirmed that the video incident was a result of a historical figures assignment in which middle school students were allowed to dress up as specific individuals.
One student chose to portray Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate army general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The student had reportedly obtained permission from the teacher to dress as Forrest.
Whit Whitaker with the Lexington Fayette NAACP said this is the kind of thing that’s happening far too often all across the U.S.
“This is nothing new. This is stuff the country endorses. It has happened in Pittsburgh schools, happened in California, happened in Texas,” said Whitaker.
Richardson said he is disappointed and embarrassed by the incident. He said he hopes the school and community realize that this does not represent the character of students and staff at the middle school or the district as a whole.
According to Richardson, a video circulating on social media wrongly identifies the teacher involved in the controversy. He clarified that the teacher falsely accused is entirely innocent and should be treated as such.