High School Play Causes Controversy

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The Sioux Falls School District is apologizing for a recent performance by students.

Over the weekend, the play “The Foreigner” was put on at Roosevelt High School. A member of the audience took a picture during the production. It shows students dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and hoods on stage.

The photo was picked up by the social rights group, Establishing Sustainable Connections. They posted a statement on Twitter, saying they were “deeply troubled” by the District’s decision to run with this play. Especially after school administration had gone through racial and cultural sensitivity training.

On Tuesday, we reached out to the Sioux Falls School District for a statement. It says in part — the district has guidelines in place to vet plays, but failed to follow those guidelines. The district says it regrets this and is taking action to be more culturally responsive.

This isn’t the first time the play “The Foreigner”  has caused controversy. In 2017, the New Prague School District cancelled the play after a photo was posted on social media. They also apologized for the insensitivity.

Those who support the play say this scene with students in KKK garb is meant to show the dark side of racism, and the play overall has a positive message.

Sioux Falls School District Statement:

The Sioux Falls School District has fielded concerns following the presentation of the play “The Foreigner” at one of its high schools.  One scene, in particular, was culturally insensitive. 

The District has guidelines in place for vetting plays and other such works.  The District failed to follow those guidelines.  We sincerely regret this and will continue to take action in our quest to be a culturally responsive school community.

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