Protests have erupted at a California high school after a student was photographed wearing a racist costume to school. FOX affiliate KETK reports that a student dressed up as a member of the Ku Klux Klan for Halloween as a "dare." Making matters worse, the student was able to wear the costume for four periods and take pictures before being reprimanded by faculty members. Eventually, the costume was confiscated and the student's parents were called to the school. Another FOX affiliate in California, KTVU, reported that the unnamed student was suspended for a "few days."
“The student has been assigned consequences for his actions and he will also participate in our restorative justice process to learn how his actions have impacted and harmed others. He will also work with our restorative justice ambassadors, parents, and staff to begin repairing the harm he has caused,” Pittsburg High School Principal Todd Whitmire said in a statement obtained by KETK.
“As a school community, we are very disappointed and concerned with the actions of this student. We are committed to addressing what has occurred and working with this student to help him recognize the harm his actions have caused and, just as importantly, the responsibility he has, along with our school, to help repair them.”
Despite Whitmire's statements, many students at Pittsburg High School do not feel that the student's punishment was severe enough. On Monday, several students helped organize a protest that called for the student to face a more severe punishment.
"It's not a costume. It's a hate crime. And it's really not OK," Pittsburg High School student Dehlia Strassner told KTVU.
"We just wanted to get the message out that he should be expelled instead of just suspended for a couple days because kids get suspended for fighting and this is worse actually."
Not only are students are calling for a more severe suspension, but parents are as well. Howard Farmer, the grandfather of a Pittsburg High School Student, grew up in the south and finds no humor in the student's "dare."
"I’m 72 years old and all my life that hasn’t ‘been a joke," Farmer told to local news outlet.
"My mom told me about stories when she used to sit in the dark in the house and everybody would have to be quiet and they could hear them on horseback with torches and hoods coming down the street."
Unfortunately, this issue isn't relegated solely to Pittsburg High School. Twenty-five minutes away, students at De La Salle High School were reportedly suspended for reenacting the murder of George Floyd.
“De La Salle recognizes that racist, sexist, homophobic, or other degrading comments or actions are not isolated to our school community. Yet when situations happen on our front door, it is uncomfortable to have to confront the reality that despite best efforts, more work is needed,” David Holquin of De La Salle High School in Concord, California said in a statement obtained by KETK.
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