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Huntsville students' assignment asks about Ku Klux Klan, shocks parent

The school district said the worksheet won't be used in the classroom again.

Posted: Jan 18, 2019 5:50 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2019 8:16 PM

Parents at a Huntsville school are concerned about a worksheet students filled out in class. 

Sheree Simms said students were asked to correct the capitalization in this sentence: "How many ku klux klan members are in Alabama?"

Simms' son is a sixth-grade student at the Academy for Science and Foreign Language, and she said this was on his grammar assignment. She says the students were learning capitalization on Thursday. 

"That should be staying in history class. That was the wrong way to teach it," said Simms.

Sims explained the students were expected to capitalize the K's in Ku Klux Klan.

"It kinda scared the kids because some of them do know a little bit about it and what they do and what has happened with the KKK," said Simms.

WAAY 31 reached out to the school board member for the magnet school, Michelle Watkins, about the situation. She said it was an unfortunate incident and the district is making sure it won't happen again.

Simms said she also received a personal call from the principal.

"He was also himself offended," said Simms.

Simms said she is satisfied knowing the lesson won't be taught again.

"I think it was a mishap and poor execution of the assignment," said Simms.

Huntsville City Schools released the following statement about the assignment:

"A four-page supplemental worksheet was given out to a language and literature class as an assignment related to a historical fictional book. The material contained a reference in a section on grammar and capitalization that is unacceptable for use in our classrooms. The worksheet is from an outside source and had not been completely vetted before it was distributed to students in the class. School administrators took immediate steps to make sure that proper screening will take place so that any classroom materials are both age and content appropriate for students. School administrators also called the parent of each child in the class to make them aware of the situation and to let them know that steps have been taken to prevent such an occurrence in the future."

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