A community in Iowa was reminded of the threatening presence of racism that still exists in our country when students at a high school were pictured in white hoods.
The students, who attend Creston Community High School, appeared in a photo first published to Snapchat, appeared in white KKK-like hoods. In the image, they held a Confederate flag and stand behind what appears to be a burning cross.
Administrators and students of the school are disgusted by the image, which the school became aware of on Wednesday.
"It represents bigotry, hatred, it represents going back to a dark past,” Principal Bill Messerole told WHOTV.
Austin Bloyd, a sophomore at Creston and one of about seven Black students, said the disturbing image reminds him of what he’s seen in his history books.
"It's disgusting, I absolutely despise them for it now." Austin told WHOTV. "I actually had to leave early. I kind of felt like I had to look out a little more with my surroundings and the people I surround myself with."
Although Messerole has not named the students, the Creston News Advertiser reported that all five pictured were members of the Creston-Orient-Macksburg football team.
"That picture does not represent our culture, it doesn't represent our school and doesn't represent our community," Messerole told WHOTV. "How we react to this is going to say a lot about who we are and what we believe in."
Messerole also did not reveal what discipline the students would face, but he said expulsion is not the way to go.
(Photo: Trey C. via Twitter)