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.