For a film on the history of racism, four AP U.S. history students at a Lumpkin County, Georgia high school dressed up in KKK robes, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A mixed-race student saw the actors walking to the film site and was “outraged.” Catherine Ariemma, an award-winning teacher with six years’ experience, has been suspended with pay for what the superintendent called “extremely poor judgment,” reports Greg, a social studies teacher, at Rhymes with Right.
As a teacher, I constantly hear about the need to be creative, to do more “hands-on” work and to make use of the various forms of media at our disposal to facilitate student learning.
But make sure nobody’s ever offended.
At my daughter’s high school, Palo Alto High, a ninth-grade world history teacher staged a scene from The Diary of Anne Frank every year with older students in Nazi uniforms discovering and arresting the hidden Jews. Every year, some ninth graders became very upset, despite knowing what they were going to see. Nobody thought the teacher or the actors were pro-Nazi.