— eNews Reference (@enewsreference) December 3, 2018
Officials in New Hampshire are currently investigating two high school students who changed the lyrics of “Jingle Bells” into a KKK-themed anthem after audio and video surfaced on social media over the weekend.
Originally posted to Snapchat, the re-purposed song features lyrics such as:
…through the streets, white masks on our heads, blood beneath our feet, laughing till they’re dead. Ha ha ha. KKK, KKK, let’s kill all the blacks, burn a cross in their front yard and hope they don’t come back…
The violent and racist lyrics continue on in this way and occasionally elicit laughter from several fellow students at Dover High School in Dover, New Hampshire. According to local newspaper Foster’s Daily Democrat, the two students singing in the video were unaware that they were being recorded at the time.
School district Superintendent William Harbron addressed the issue in a letter to community members released Monday morning, calling the incident “an incident of extreme racial insensitivity.”
The song was apparently sung to the assembled students as part of an assigned exercise in an 11th grade U.S. history class dealing with a segment of curriculum focused on the Reconstruction Era–the time period immediately after the U.S. Civil War when secret societies of racist whites eventually banded together in order to destroy black-and-white political coalitions and subvert democracy in the South.
“They were given an assignment to select some event during reconstruction and to make a jingle out of it,” Harbron’s letter noted. “While the incident was part of a classroom assignment dealing with the reconstruction period in American history, the impact was harmful…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.”
Harbron and Dover High School Principal Peter Driscoll claim that the students singing in the video did not do so maliciously. Harbron did state, however, that he felt the students’ teacher ought to have stopped the song from being performed at some point before or during the classroom presentation.
The school’s superintendent also noted that the students and teacher may end up being disciplined but stressed that such discussions aren’t exactly a priority for the district.
We’re still trying to sort it out at this point. Right now it’s getting the message out about what occurred, what we need to do differently, what can we learn from this, and how do we change our practices from the lessons learned so that everybody feels accepted and wanted here.
[image via screengrab/Twitter]