KKK Class Presentation Brings Controversy to Las Vegas High School

A photo of a student dressed in a white robe and mask for a history presentation has sparked controversy at the Las Vegas Academy.

Posted: 01/31/2013 12:44 PM EST

In this undated photo, members of the Ku Klux Klan standing by an aeroplane they'd used to drop publicity leaflets over Washington DC. (Photo: General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

It is not uncommon for teachers to ask students to bring historical events to life through artwork, first-person narratives and other creative forms. But a presentation involving two students who dressed up as Ku Klux Klan members has brought one Las Vegas high school to the center of controversy.

On Jan. 9, two juniors at the Las Vegas Academy chose to wear white robes and hooded masks for their class presentation, with their social studies teacher’s permission. But one student took things too far by wearing the hood outside of class where someone snapped a photo that ended up on the Internet, the Las Vegas Sun reports:

A photograph of that student was taken and posted on social media. The photograph — which quickly spread throughout the school community — sparked several questions and complaints.

Principal Scott Walker issued a letter to parents on Jan. 11, calling the incident "unfortunate" and "inappropriate." He said the academy was reviewing its "internal procedures" and will talk with staff about its lessons.

“While the presentation was designed to highlight the atrocities committed by the Klan, and there was no intention to harm or offend on the part of the students, it was in poor judgment and inappropriate for students to go to such lengths to convey their message,” Walker said in his message.

Some students say the incident does not reflect the “inclusive, accepting and tolerant” culture at their high school.

Read the full story here.

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