Students in a New Hampshire high school sang a KKK-themed Christmas carol for what was supposedly a school assignment, The Portsmouth Herald reported.
Students in a 11th-grade American History class at Dover High School were instructed to write a song from what they learned from the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, Superintendent William Harbron confirmed to the Herald. A video of the song, which is no longer available, was posted over the weekend.
Two students chose to write about the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacy group, and arranged it to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” according to the Herald, including the line, “Let’s kill all the blacks.” The video, about a minute long, elicited laughter from other students. The singing students reportedly did not know they were being recorded, Harbron said.
School and district administrators have been investigating the situation. Superintendent Harbron called it “an incident of extreme racial insensitivity.”
“While the incident was part of a classroom assignment dealing with the reconstruction period in American history, the impact was harmful,” he wrote.
Harbron and DHS Principal Peter Driscoll said Monday that they don’t believe there was malicious intent behind the song. Part of the review process will entail whether the instructor had to approve the song, as well as whether the assignment was even appropriate.
The school is also working with New Hampshire Listens, a civic engagement group at the University of New Hampshire, to talk to the class about the song and uncovering biases, according to Raw Story. Administrators plan to organize a larger discussion with the community.