A middle school teacher in Kentucky has been suspended after he allegedly allowed a student to dress up as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan as part of a "history lesson."
The Lexington Herald Leader reports that Pulaski County Superintendent Patrick Richardson confirmed this week that he had suspended the teacher, who has not been identified publicly and who is now under investigation by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board.
“First and foremost, I am extremely disappointed and embarrassed by this incident,” Richardson said in an interview with the Herald-Leader. “I would hope our school and community realize that this does not represent the character of our students and staff at Southern Middle School or our district as a whole.“
According to local news station WYMT, the teacher gave students the assignment of dressing up as a famous historical figure and approved one student's request to dress as Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
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The teacher's judgement drew harsh criticism from Whit Whitaker of the Lexington-Fayette NAACP.
“What is your definition of hero, or of a historical figure?” he said to WYMT. “Would he have done the same thing if he wanted to come as Charles Manson or Hitler?”