The superintendent of a Philadelphia-area school district has apologized for a class skit in which students dressed in Ku Klux Klan-like outfits.

Superintendent Richard Dunlap, of the Upper Darby School District, sent a message to parents and the community Friday saying the skit was "intended to identify and highlight the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan."

He said it was part of a history class during the 2014-15 school year on the 1920s.

A photo of the students dressed in white shirts bearing the letter "K'' and wearing conical hoods concealing their faces surfaced on social media Thursday evening. Dunlap said the photo "has offended many in the community."

He said no offense was meant but "we recognize that the project was in poor judgment and an inappropriate activity."