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February 29, 2012

Officials fix menu after 'KKK Chicken' typo

Methuen superintendent says 'exemplary employee' made mistake which is quickly fixed

METHUEN — About 6,500 students in four city grammar schools took home new menus yesterday to replace the ones they got on Monday which school officials say listed "KKK Chicken Tenders" by mistake.

The menu was supposed to read "KK Chicken Tenders," short for Krispy, Krunchy, according to Methuen Schools Superintendent Judith Scannell, who called it an unfortunate typo by a longtime, "exemplary employee."

"As she was typing it, she hit a third 'K.' It was an oversight," Scannell said. "I apologize for the School District if we offended anybody. This was cleaned up immediately and a new menu sent out."

At least one, unnamed person who identified herself as the mother of a grammar school child was angry enough to call a Boston television station, which ran with the story on its nightly newscast yesterday.

But Scannell said she never heard from the irate mom or any other parents who were concerned about the mistake.

"Apparently this mom called the food service director and spoke to the office. One parent called the food service director," Scannell said. "Not one single parent had called me, my office or any of my administrators. I checked with my School Committee people and they have not received one call. The School Committee was not aware of any of this. But now, this is totally out of control."

The only people who have been calling Scannell about the menu mistake have been from the media, she said.

Meanwhile, the superintendent said she planned to meet with her staff this morning to see if any additional steps need to be taken to deal with any fallout from the "KKK" reference.

KKK is the common abbreviation for Ku Klux Klan, an infamous century-old white supremacy, terrorist group born out of the American Civil War. It was the group's murderous actions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s which provokes discussion of a dark side of American history — and one that Methuen educators or parents may have to address this week if questioned what "KKK" stands for.

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