KKK costumes worn during high school play anger parents

A high school play in which three students wore Ku Klux Klan costumes has angered parents, KNXV reported.

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The play "The Foreigner" was performed Friday during an assembly at the Arizona State University Preparatory Academy's Phoenix campus, the television station reported. Parents told KNXV that the school never notified them or students not in the drama department that the controversial costumes would be part of the production.

"Three students dressed as the KKK walked down the middle of the assembly as part of a play," one parent, who asked for anonymity at his daughter's request, told the television station. "They were in hooded robes."

"The Foreigner" is a comedy that includes the Klansmen in its script. However, the parent said the characters could have been portrayed without a full KKK outfit, KNXV reported.

The Klansmen are part of the scripted, comedy play, but this parent said there was a better way to portray it.

"We can talk about racial prejudice, we can talk about the insensitivity, but to have our children put on the robes and assume the characters, it's wrong,” he told the television station. “There is no justification for it."

A school spokesman said in a statement that the play “portrays an image of members of Klansmen in a brief scene toward the end in which they are made fun of and driven away.”

“We apologize if anyone was caught by surprise with the appearance of these characters,” the spokesman said. “We are confident that a fair reading of the text of the play, and a fair interpretation of the intentions of students who performed it, reveals no endorsement of bigotry.”

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