Student’s KKK Board Game Ignites Controversy

Published April 2, 2009

A seventh-grader at a Kansas school has ignited a firestorm over his Ku Klux Klan board game, a class project inspired by lessons on the effects of racism and oppression in 1930s.

The NAACP is looking into a complaint that Andover Middle School was less than sensitive in displaying the board game, which accompanied the student’s research paper, at a recent open house.

"This is a matter of common sense," says Wichita NAACP President Kevin Myles. "I think the school could have used better judgment in deciding whether or not to display this.”

In the game, players advance around the board by following such instructions as, "The rope you are hung with breaks. Move forward five spaces." Another space reads, "You forgot to wash your White robe and cannot go to the lynching. You are punished. Move back two spaces."

The student got the idea for the project after reading Mildred Taylor’s novel “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” which describes the mistreatment of Black Americans in the early 1900s.

Officials at Andover said that the student certainly wasn’t trying to offend.

"The last intent he would ever have would be to offend," middle school principal Brett White said Tuesday of the student and his work. "He was powerfully moved by the research he uncovered... and couldn't believe some of these things really happened. …We've got to continue to teach these types of things in order for students to have that depth of understanding," White said.

Overreaction or understandable complaint?  You be the judge.

Written by BET.com Staff

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