Students' KKK-Themed Christmas Carol Sparks Investigation

dover high school

Dover High School. (Kendall Buhl)

DOVER, New Hampshire (WBZ-AM) -- Secretly recorded video has surfaced of what the school superintendent of Dover, New Hampshire calls "an incident of extreme racial sensitivity."

Footage shows two 11th graders in a history class at Dover High School, replacing the words to Jingle Bells with lyrics that reference the KKK, burning crosses, and killing black people. It was extreme discomfort that led another student to record the students singing "KKK, KKK/Let's kill all the blacks" to the tune of "Jingle Bells" while others laughed.

School officials say students were instructed to pick a popular Christmas song and change it to tell a story about post-Civil War reconstruction. Those two particular students chose to focus on the Klu Klux Klan.

Parents can't understand why that didn't raise alarm bells for the teacher in question, or why that teacher didn't put an immediate stop to the song when students were singing about "blood at their feet."

That teacher is off the job on paid leave for now as the investigation continues. The district won't say whether or not the students will be disciplined.

"I thought that was crazy," one student, Bailey, told WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl. "I didn't think that they should be allowed to do that ... he seemed like he was just trying to be funny and get a good grade, that's what he was trying to do--but it didn't turn out like that."

Superintendent Dr. William Harbron said he sees a bigger picture, too.

"It has to go beyond damage control," he said. "It has to be lessons learned, and then, how do we go about changing that culture so that this never occurs again? It's not right what occurred."

Habron acknowledged that emotions were running high in Dover at the moment. He said the school is reaching out to minority students to discuss the situation, and that he wants the conversation to expand to include the whole community.

WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) reports

 

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