A teacher from a Missouri high school was suspended after allowing a student to dress in a Ku Klux Klan costume for a “study group presentation. The Poplar Bluff R-I School District in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, told the Springfield News-Leader on Monday that the students in a ninth-grade history class at Poplar High School were divided into study groups and asked to make presentations that focused on amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
One of the students who was assigned to study the 15th Amendment, which granted the right to vote to all Americans regardless of the color of their skin or race, dressed up as a KKK member, the Springfield News-Leader reported. Following an investigation, the school district told the publication it has suspended the teacher.
The school district’s superintendent, Scott Dill, visited with Bishop Ron Webb of Poplar Bluff’s Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church, according to the publication. The two men reportedly read an apology letter from the suspended teacher and told students why the teacher was not in class and spoke about the incident that took place on Friday.
In the apology letter obtained by KFVS, the unnamed teacher said they “should have known better” and did not intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
“I made a mistake on Friday during our skit assignment. I let a student wear an inappropriate costume that was unacceptable and hurt many people’s feelings. As the professional in the room, I should have known better. I am sorry,” the letter obtained by the news station read. “It is my job to ensure my students feel safe in class and at school. Because of my lapse in judgment, many of you were hurt and felt uncomfortable. I never wanted that to happen. I think of my classes as my family, and I would never intentionally offend or hurt any of you.”
In October, a man was kicked out of a bar in Mississippi during a Halloween party for wearing a KKK costume and carrying a Confederate flag. Bryan Carroll, the co-owner of Mutt & BC’s Bar & Grill in Picayune, Mississippi, told The Clarion-Ledger he asked the man to take off his costume and leave the bar.
“We do not tolerate or condone racism at any level of our business, customers or staff,” Carroll told the publication at the time. “Everyone is welcome and we do have all walks of life and all races that patronize our place.”