A Michigan school is under scrutiny after a picture of a student dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan spread across social media, ABC57 reports.
The photo, which was originally posted to Snapchat, was taken inside a Niles High School classroom Thursday but quickly spread across Facebook, resulting in several disparaging comments about the outfit, which school administrators say was part of an educational skit on racism for U.S.-history class.
"You look at all the different things that's going on around the country already with race relations, and you don't think that you'd have to be dealing with that kind of stuff here," Pastor Bryant Bacon of Niles' Mount Calvary Baptist Church told the news station. "When you see that, it kind of raises some questions about what's really going on around here."
On Friday a public relations firm representing the school issued a statement, saying that the costume was part of a presentation about U.S. history.
"The inclusion of these props and costumes was highly inappropriate and insensitive. An investigation into the approval process for the skits and related classroom oversight is underway," the statement added. "Niles Community Schools and Niles High School understands the extreme sensitivity around this issue and does not condone or support this type of reenactment. … We sincerely apologize to our entire community for this incident.”
"Everybody's not gonna see it that way," Bacon countered. "They're not gonna see it as a classroom project. They're gonna see it as something that's racial and sensitive.
"If we're going to address these issues, then the teachers need to be trained a little bit better in how they address these issues so it does not create any kind of tension," he added.
Read more at ABC57.