DOVER, NH (RNN) – New Hampshire school officials are investigating after a racist video showing students singing a Ku Klux Klan-themed song in class showed up on social media.
The video began circulating Friday and appears to show two students standing in front of a Dover High School classroom. “KKK, KKK lets kill all the Blacks … burn the cross on their front yard and hope they don’t come back,” the students sang to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
School officials say the song was created for a U.S. history classroom project.
“From our understanding, the students were only doing the assignment they were asked to do,” district Superintendent William Harbron told the Washington Post.
Warning, a video posted in this story contains content that some may find offensive.
Harbron said the incident took place on Friday afternoon and was recorded in part by another student who was in the classroom.
He said a Dover High School teacher gave the 11th-grade students a classroom project to illustrate life in the 1800s during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War.
“They were given an assignment to select some event during Reconstruction and to make a jingle out of it,” he said.
During the student’s racist jingle, they mentioned The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization that was indeed formed during the Reconstruction era.
But, according to Harbron, the students had no idea they were being recorded.
The district wrote a letter to the community addressing what it calls, “an incident of extreme racial insensitivity.”
“We are deeply concerned that an event such as this could occur and understand the emotion and concern that this event will create for our students, families and staff,” the letter posted to Facebook read. “Administration from Dover High School and the District are working with students and the school community to respond immediately and effectively to this racial insensitivity.”
On Tuesday, school officials announced the teacher was placed on leave as a district-wide investigation into the incident continues.
“We don’t only need to deal with what occurred, we need to deal with how to change the culture so something like this does not repeat itself,” Harbron told the Washington Post. “So, all students feel safe in the community and feel respected in the community, regardless of your background.”
The video posted to YouTube shows the original Snapchat recorded video of the incident. Some of the words are inaudible.
Warning, viewer discretion is advised. Some may find the content offensive.