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School kids photoshop KKK hoods, surround black classmate in disturbing photo

Photo credit:
Albuquerque

Two classmates at an Albuquerque, New Mexico high school have been suspended after they photoshopped KKK hoods on classmates surrounding a black student in the classroom, and posted it to Snapchat.

The local NBC affiliate reports that the students even went so far as to post the disturbing photo on the school’s official Snapchat group. It was removed, but not before it had been seen by several other students.

Mary Morrow-Webb, the mother of the African American child featured in the photo, told KOB, “It was awful,” she said. “It was frightening. I just really got sick to my stomach. I was afraid for my daughters and for the other children there that are at risk for these types of threats.”

“You don’t expect your kids going to school and having to deal with racism and discrimination in 2017,” Lamont Webb, the girl's father said. “It’s kind of appalling.”

The two students who said they only posted the picture as a “joke,” were consequently suspended for 10 days. One of the students was also kicked off the football team.

 “We took this to our police department,” Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy told KOB 4. “They came and investigated and are really looking very carefully at whether we should file charges for hate crimes. This is something we’re looking at very carefully because it’s this serious.”

A note sent home to parents by the Principal Vickie C. Bannerman, condemns the act and the students who did it. 

Dear Volcano Vista Community,

We learned this week about a very disturbing photograph that was posted to Snapchat by a couple of our students.

The picture was photo-shopped to look like a group of students in one of our classrooms wearing Klan hoods.

The students who doctored the picture and posted it to social media said it was supposed to be a joke. Of course, it was in no way funny. In fact, I found it repugnant and hateful. Please know that the students involved have been appropriately and expeditiously disciplined.

At Volcano Vista High School, we expect all students to be treated with dignity and respect, and we deem unacceptable all acts of discrimination and harassment including but not limited to sexual, racial and religious.

This is what we teach; this is what we live by. You might want to talk to your child about this incident. Remind them to think twice about what they post to social media.

They shouldn’t use the platform to harass, tease or threaten others, and they should remember that everything they post leaves a “digital footprint” that can last forever – even in sites like Snapchat. Hateful, discriminatory or bullying messages and photographs may very well come back to haunt them as they apply for college and jobs.

On behalf of VVHS, I’d like to sincerely apologize to all who were hurt and offended by this unacceptable prank. If you have questions or concerns, I welcome you to contact me or a member of the Volcano Vista administration.

Sincerely, Dr. B