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KKK reenactment gets teacher suspended

The school year is not winding down quietly in Dahlonega, Georgia. A teacher at Lumpkin County High School about 50 miles north of Atlanta is suspended and could lose her job because of an apparently well-intentioned class project, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Catherine Ariemma let students do a Ku Klux Klan reenactment Thursday as part of a documentary project in her advance placement history class. Four students dressed in white hoods and sheets walked through the cafeteria, attracting the attention of at least one senior who was about confront them. A coach intervened before things got out of hand.

The Lumpkin County superintendent describes Ariemma as an "outstanding" teacher." The six-year veteran drew praise from the Georgia Legislature last year after being honored as the county's 2009 STAR teacher.

But Ariemma says she may have made a mistake in letting the students film the Klan reenactment on campus. Black parents learned what happened and called the superintendent's office. Superintendent Dewey Moye put Ariemma on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Educators say historical reenactments can be an effective teaching tool if used carefully. But Moye called the incident offensive.

What do you think? Is this a case of good intentions run amok, public overreaction or both? I'd like your comments.


  • wade 5 years ago

    I live here in Lumpkin county and went to school here as well. As far as Im concerned, this teacher was a complete idiot. It takes very litte these days to stir up some type or racist controversy. This is suppose to be an individual who is college educated and considered a good teacher. She should had known better than to pull some ridiculas stunt such as this. Knowing that certain people in our society are just looking for a chance to make a mountain out of mole hill just so certain people can get their names in the paper and be seen on the television.
    I just hope other people who do not live here and has seen this report believe that the teacher in question is in any way representative of most of the locals that live here. Because we are not, in fact, I have'nt even heard mention of the K.K.K. in over twenty years, maybe even longer.
    but what this is an example of is morons like her who did not grow up in the county. Have moved in to this area, "outsiders", if you will.

  • deja, new jersey 5 years ago

    i dont think she was an is necessary for black children to understand what the kkk and racism is and how it has effected all aspects of history.. more over there should be some emotoin tied to hanging blackmen and crazies in sheets.. heaven forbid an educator goes outside the box to teach her students. how is it ok to reinact the civil war.. and it was not to free slaves.. reinact the signing of the declaration of independence or abe lincoln's speech and all were not in the interest of black people we cant only take the parts of history that are diplomatice and have racial tones, but the ugly and uncomforatble parts as well

  • GB 5 years ago

    From more detailed accounts than the one above it is clear that the only wrongdoing was committed by the black student who threatened the thespians dressed in the Klan costumes and by the principal who disciplined the innocent teacher.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    well i think that the k.k.k is gay first off and i don`t think that the teacher should have reinact the k.k.k that was a bad chioce for her to do ..but im sure she ment no harm but it was still wrong of her to do time think before you act thats all i have to say .

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