The Dover High School teacher who was leading a U.S. history class in which 11th-grade students created a KKK-jingle for a class assignment has been placed on leave.
John Carver, a longtime teacher and coach at the New Hampshire high school is still being paid though (so isn’t it really vacation?) as the school investigates.
According to Fosters, Dover Superintendent William Harbron said putting Carver on paid leave would allow officials “to really dig deep into the investigation,” which will begin with students who were present so that administrators would “have a thorough understanding of what occurred and what didn’t occur.”
The initial incident, which went viral after a video started circulating, prompted shock and outrage in the New Hampshire community. In the video, the students could be heard singing “KKK, KKK, let’s kill all the Blacks,” to the tune of Jingle Bells.
Carver had given the students an assignment to come up with a Christmas carol based on the Reconstruction Era. The students in the video chose the KKK and came up with the racist song.
Carver declined to offer any comment to the news site.
One student who spoke to news station WMUR, according to Fosters, claimed that “it was not our intention to offend anyone.”
“We were just trying to bring light to the terrible history of the KKK and about what they did to people throughout all of history,” the student added.
Another student believes that the song was taken out of context, reporting that one of the students involved in the song was now “extremely upset” at how he is being characterized.
“He is one of the nicest kids I know. Now they are calling this really amazing person a racist,” that student said.
Imagine how the Black students in the classroom (if there were any) must have felt though.
A substitute teacher administered a planned test to students on Tuesday, but the aforementioned student believed that the test should have been delayed as she and her classmates were “devastated” that Carver was on leave “because we really like him as a teacher.”
Meanwhile, Harbron said that members of New Hampshire Listens, a civic engagement initiative, were at the school on Tuesday, meeting with students and also providing school officials with feedback to figure out how to address the incident with students and the entire Dover community.
“This whole thing has a racial connotation that has to be addressed and dealt with proactively,” Harbron said. “How do we confront it and how do we do things differently in the future?”