POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The Poplar Bluff School District is investigating after a student dressed in a KKK costume as part of a study group presentation on Friday, November 9.
Several viewers reached out to Heartland News questioning the reason for the costume after the picture surfaced on the internet.
According to a statement from the Poplar Bluff R-I School District, all of the students in the American History class were divided into study groups to make presentations focused on amendments to the Constitution.
Superintendent Scott Dill said the groups were in costume, representing different historical facets of the assigned amendments.
One group was assigned the 15th Amendment - “ensuring the rights of citizens to vote would not be denied or abridged by the United States on account of race or color. As part of the presentation, students discussed the adverse historical actions of certain organizations that actively engaged in the suppression of voter rights.”
The school district stated that at this time, they have no reason to believe the student was acting with any discriminatory intent.
The teacher was suspended and the school district is continuing the investigation.
An apology letter was sent from the teacher and read to students on Monday morning. You can click here to read it.
Heartland News talked to a Poplar Bluff pastor and president of Bridge the Gap, Bishop Ron Webb, on Monday.
“They own the situation, and as a result of that, through respectful dialogue, you can work through anything,” he said. “One of the things that we discussed was the importance of sensitivity training and awareness, I think that’s very important to put that plan in place to make sure that doesn’t happen again. And let this be a learning experience, we can learn from this.”
Poplar Bluff Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill agreed on using this as a teachable moment in the future.
“There’s no context for this,” Dr. Dill said. “There’s no point at which anyone in our public school system is going to say that this is okay. It is very obvious that this can’t happen in any setting anywhere, and so we will do our best to ensure that we do what we do best, which is education. And we will make sure that our students, our teachers, and our community understand the context, understand what is acceptable and what will never be acceptable.”
The school district said they will take measures to ensure the schools are “providing age-appropriate, historical context, on these critical issues in a socially relevant and culturally responsible manner.”