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High school cancels play with Ku Klux Klan characters after photo sparked outrage

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A Minnesota High School had to cancel a play because students were offended by the Ku Klux Klan costumes in the show.

The backlash started when a member of the cast posted a picture to Snapchat from the play “The Foreigner” that showed members in KKK robes and hoods with the caption “I think you’re gonna want to come to the spring play,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The play is about two men from England who stay at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia. The Klan characters in the play serve as antagonists.

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But the fact that it is only a play, and that the characters are intricate to the story, didn’t mean much to the people who saw KKK costumes and demanded the show be cancelled.

They got their way when the play, scheduled for this weekend, was cancelled Monday.

“On Friday afternoon, [an] NPHS student involved in the play posted a captioned photo on social media of some fellow cast members in KKK costumes that are used in the final scene … to depict an evil force” in the play titled “The Foreigner,” an e-mail from New Prague High School Principal Lonnie Seifert and Assistant Principal Tom Wetschka read.

“Administration was made aware of the posting, and the insensitive nature of this post,” it continued.

The principal said he met with offended students in the school, where only 12 black students are enrolled, and decided it was best to cancel the play lest anyone’s feelings be hurt because there are “students and adults who are uncomfortable with that part of history.”

“As we reviewed the social media post and conducted meetings with our theater director and concerned community members, we feel it is in the best interest of New Prague Area Schools to not present the show this weekend,” Seifert said.

The cancellation came despite the fact that the play portrays the KKK members as ignorant villains who are defeated in the end.

That message is irrelevant to some because they want to be protected from parts of history that make them uncomfortable.

“It makes black people, the small amount of people of color at this school, it makes them feel excluded,” senior Morgan Dawson told NBC News.

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Carmine Sabia

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