LEXINGTON, S.C. — A South Carolina elementary school teacher, who was placed on leave after giving students an assignment that asked them to imagine being a member of the KKK in the period after the Civil War, is now back in the classroom.
Lexington-Richland School District Five confirmed Monday that the teacher was allowed to return Friday.
“After careful review and investigation into this matter, the district decided to return the teacher to the classroom effective Friday, Sept. 22,” the district said in a statement.
The assignment was given to students in a fifth-grade class at Oak Pointe Elementary in Lexington-Richland School District Five. A concerned family member of one of the students posted on Facebook about the assignment. Multiple people began sharing the post and contacted WLTX-TV, upset about the content of the assignment.
The Facebook post showed a box with the following question: “You are there… You are a member of the KKK. Why do you think your treatment of African-Americans is justified?
The box allows students to write their own response.
Another question read “You are there…you are a freedman. Are you satisfied with your new life? Why or why not?”
Again, students could give their own response.
The district had said earlier that South Carolina standards for fifth-grade students require lessons on Reconstruction and discriminatory groups including the KKK. However, the district said this assignment would not be repeated.
“We have discussed the matter with school leaders who work with curriculum issues in our district to ensure that this particular assignment is never again used in our schools. These conversations have led to discussions, in general, about the need for more sensitivity in our assignments to all students.”