A New Hampshire school district placed a teacher on paid administrative leave during an investigation into video footage of two students singing a song with lyrics about the Ku Klux Klan and killing Black people, reports The New York Times.
The Dover School District was working with students and educators at the school, Dover High, “to investigate and address an incident of extreme racial insensitivity,” said a letter dated Monday that addressed the district’s community and was signed by the district superintendent, William Harbron. “We are deeply concerned that an event such as this could occur.”
According to The Times, the teacher who has not been identified, assigned a project in which the 11th-grade history students were to use events from the Reconstruction era in a Christmas carol.
Two students, who have not been publicly identified, replaced the words to “Jingle Bells” with lyrics about the Ku Klux Klan and sang the modified carol in class on Friday, according to reports.
Hear the carol below. (Warning offensive language)
Chloe Harris, 16, told The Times the lyrics to the song were passed out to the class before the song’s performance. She began recording video footage on her phone of the two students singing the song, because she found the lyrics upsetting.
“I wasn’t really comfortable, and there was a better way he could teach it,” Harris told The Times, adding that she told the teacher the same thing. “He did not listen. He told me to call my lawyer if I was upset about it.”
In video footage recorded by Harris, the two students can be heard singing “K.K.K., let’s kill all the Blacks, burn a cross on their front yard,” as they appear on camera.
Harris said that she recorded the performance to show people what happens at Dover High, noting that she has heard racial slurs used at school in the past.
The incident is currently under investigation.