A video shows two students at a New Hampshire public high school were singing a racially charged version of “Jingle Bells” containing lyrics about the Ku Klux Klan.
According to the Washington Post, the school district is now investigating those students who sang “let’s kill all the blacks” during a history lesson.
A cellphone video surfaced over the weekend showing two students singing a song that contains the lyrics, “KKK, KKK, Let’s kill all the blacks,” to the tune of “Jingle Bells” in a history class at Dover High School.
“KKK, KKK, Let’s kill all the blacks, burn a cross in their front yard and hope they don’t come back,” the students sang in the minute or so long video. Not all the lyrics in the one-minute video are audible, but they continue the racist sentiments. Other students in the class are heard laughing at points during the song.
The video has since gone viral in the community, leaving many residents aghast and wondering how it could have happened, according to Fosters Daily Democrat.
The video was recorded by classmate Chloe Harris. “I went to the teacher,” she said. “I said I’m not really comfortable with these lyrics. I don’t know why they need to sing it. I don’t know why they need to present it in such an insensitive way.”
Harris also said she recorded the incident because she wasn’t sure anyone would believe what happened.
“Thought if I don’t record this, this is going to be the only evidence that I have that this happened,” the 16-year-old told NBC10 Boston.
School District Is Investigating The Incident
In the wake of the video, the school district in Dover, New Hampshire–where children of color make up less than five percent of the student body–said they are now investigating the incident and called the song “an incident of extreme racial insensitivity.”
Superintendent William Harbron said in a letter to the school community on Monday, December 3, that the incident was part of an assignment dealing with the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Harbron also stated that “the impact was harmful.” He also said that the students did not know they were being recorded.
“We would like to address a situation that came to our attention over the past 24 hours and let the Dover School District community know we are working with students and educators diligently at DHS to investigate and address this incident of extreme racial insensitivity,” the statement said. “We are deeply concerned that an event such as this could occur and understand the emotion and concern this event will create for our students, families and staff.”
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Harbron acknowledged in an interview Monday afternoon that the instructor did not intervene during the students’ performance. He added that the school’s principal is continuing to gather information about what happened.
“What we are much more concerned about is making sure that we use this opportunity to really learn from it and make sure business is done differently, and that all students are respected and regarded–regardless of their background, their race,” Harbron told The Post. “I think that’s more of a concern for us right now.”
The teacher and the students involved haven’t been identified. However, the teacher has been suspended with pay while the entire incident is being investigated by the school district, according to NBC10 Boston.
It is still unclear if the two students who sang the song will be disciplined.