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KKK robes in class: Teacher who approved them won't be punished

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Esther Langston, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, professor emeritus with the Delta Sigma Theta black sorority and educational organization, said the teacher needed the academic freedom to educate students in a creative fashion.

Clark County School District equity and diversity chief Greta Peay told The Sun teachers must prepare carefully before and after a potentially controversial lesson to avoid misunderstandings.

Peay said she understood that the purpose of the controversial lessons was to have students better empathize with the victims during the Jim Crow era and the Holocaust. However, Peay said she would not personally recommend that teachers allow their students to dress up as controversial historical characters.

"I would not do this activity with K-12 students," she said. "That's not to take anything away from this teacher. But teachers need to be careful, and really know the culture and climate of the school and have a good grip on how the school will react."

The Sun reported the same performing arts magnet high school came under public scrutiny last year after theater students used the N-word during a production of "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

The same teacher who let students wear KKK costumes also permitted students to dress as Adolf Hitler in other assignments, the newspaper said.

Officials said that since August 2012, more than 6,500 of the district's 18,000 teachers have taken voluntary diversity training classes, mostly after school and on weekends.

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