The East Bay community in San Francisco is outraged after a high school student was reportedly found wearing a Ku Klux Klan costume on a school’s campus.
According to KPIX, officials with the Pittsburg Unified School District confirmed the incident took place at Pittsburg High School on Wednesday (October 27).
“A disturbing and unacceptable incident occurred at the high school where a student wore a KKK costume yesterday, hiding the top part of the costume and wearing it for moments at a time until staff discovered it after fourth period and confiscated it,” the district said in a statement, according to the news station.
Officials also say photos of the student in the costume were posted on social media. Initially, students believed the teen was dressed as a ghost.
“Everyone assumed he was a ghost at first and then people found out he was a KKK member as a joke,” said sophomore Addis Harris. “Apparently his friends dared him to do it and because his friends are of color, they thought it was okay. But it’s still not okay.”
Carter Williams, another student at the school, said he saw the teen wearing the racist costume in a hallway.
“I was like, why would you dress up like that, why would you come to school like that?” Williams said. “And why would your parents let you come to school like that? It’s not okay.”
In a statement, Pittsburg High School principal Todd Whitmire said he has met with the student and his family. The student claimed he wore the outfit as part of a dare. As punishment, he will be assigned unnamed consequences and participate in the school’s restorative justice process.
“As a school community, we are very disappointed and concerned with the actions of this student,” Whitmire said. “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 the harm.”
Additionally, any students who appeared with the student in the costume in photos will also have to take part in the restorative justice process.