New Hampshire High School Students Write, Perform Pro-KKK Christmas Song...As Part of a School Assignment

Posted: Dec 04, 2018 6:30 PM

The Dover School District in New Hampshire is investigating a video that surfaced of students singing a pro-KKK Christmas song on campus. The song was part of a U.S. history class assignment after students learned about the Civil War.

"They were given an assignment to select some event during reconstruction and to make a jingle out of it,” Dover superintendent William Harbron told Foster's Daily Democrat.

The students were assigned the "Jingle Bells" song. Lyrics included "KKK, KKK, Let’s kill all the blacks” and “White masks on our heads, blood beneath our feet, laughing till they’re dead --- ha, ha, ha," ABC News reported.

Harbron did say this was “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."

“My own personal reaction was one of disbelief, that at some point that the teacher did not stop it and say ‘Let’s talk about this,’” Harbron told ABC News.

The minute-long video was sang by two students who laughed periodically during the performance. They had no idea they were being recorded though. 

According to one of the students who wrote the song, he knew it was distasteful but wanted to use the song in a satirical manner to point out how bad racism truly is, WMUR-TV reported.

"I want them to know that it was not our intention to offend anyone, we were simply trying to make a factual reference to the KKK and the history," he said. "We were just trying to bring to light the terrible history of the KKK and about what they did, well, just people throughout all of history. 

Students in the class were instructed not to record the projects but student Chloe Harris recorded this particular song because she was offended. 

"Ignorance. It's very rampant here. I think people need to learn how to address these things better. I don't want any ill intent on the student. I know the kid and he's a good kid, so I think the way he presented the information was totally wrong, and I said it. I had to walk out (because) I was so frustrated," Harris said.

The teacher, John Carver, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. It's unclear whether the teacher or students will face any kind of disciplinary action.

"We’re still trying to sort it out at this point,” Harbron said. “Right now it’s getting the message out about what occurred, what we need to do differently, what can we learn from this, and how do we change our practices from the lessons learned so that everybody feels accepted and wanted here.”