- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A South Carolina elementary school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after giving students an assignment asking them to put themselves in the shoes of a Ku Klux Klan member and defend his or her treatment of black people after the Civil War.

The history assignment given to a fifth-grade class at Oak Pointe Elementary in Irmo reportedly asked, “You are a member of the KKK. Why do you think your treatment of African Americans is justified?”

Students were similarly asked to give the viewpoint of a freed slave.

“You are a freedman. Are you satisfied with your new life? Why or why not?” the assignment reportedly asked.

The uncle of a student in the class, who posted a picture of the assignment on social media, said his 10-year-old nephew came home crying because he was so upset by the questions, a local CBS affiliate reported.

The Lexington-Richland School District Five released a statement Friday saying the teacher who gave out the assignment had been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

“South Carolina standards for 5th grade require lessons on Reconstruction and discriminatory groups including the KKK,” the school district said, a local Fox affiliate reported. “We must teach the standard, but we are taking steps to ensure this particular assignment will never be used again in District Five schools.

“We understand the seriousness of this matter particularly in light of the events taking place in our country at this time,” the statement said. “We want to ensure that our students, parents, staff and community know that we are giving this matter our full attention.”

The school district said it is taking the matter seriously and has been in communication with the families and students “to let them know our actions and next steps.”

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