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Student Wears KKK Halloween Costume Through 4 Class Periods Before Being Reprimanded

Student Wears KKK Halloween Costume Through 4 Class Periods
Before Being Reprimanded 1

School officials in Pittsburg, California, acknowledged on Thursday that a student wore a Ku Klux Klan costume to school on Wednesday.

San Francisco news station KRON-TV reported a message about the incident that was sent from Pittsburg High School principal Todd Whitmire to students, parents, school staff and members of the community. KRON also said that a photo of the student wearing the costume to school was shared on social media.

The student reportedly wore the KKK attire for four class periods of school.

A California high school said a student wore a Ku Klux Klan costume to school on Wednesday. In this photo, an image of an African American man is seen behind a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robe as part of an exhibit at the National Geographic on February 25, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

In his message, Whitmire said the costume was taken away from the student and school officials met with the student and his family on Thursday morning.

Officials indicated that the student told them he wore the costume as a “dare” and made it through the first four periods of the school day before he was caught. Whitmire said the boy was likely able to wear the costume so long without being detected by staff because he may not have worn it during class.

Whitmire issued the followed statement about the incident, in which he noted a photo shared on social media of the student had “upset and concerned” members of the community.

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“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,” Whitmire wrote. “He will also work with our restorative justice ambassadors, parents, and staff to begin repairing the harm he has caused.”

The principal continued, “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.”

In a Pittsburg Facebook group, a person posted a photo of the study and wrote: “WHO DO THESE KIDS BELONG TO???? This happened at Pittsburg High yesterday.”

One person replied, “I hate that my kid was exposed to that at her school.” Later, she posted again in the comment thread by adding that “[I]f it was a dare then those kids who dared him should also be reprimanded.”

Pittsburg High School has made national headlines before, including in 2016 when students held a protest against then-President Donald Trump. A restaurant window was shattered, garbage cans were turned over and a student allegedly threw an orange at a police officer during a walkout. A local police chief accused Whitmire of participating in the student protest, which the principal denied and said he was there to keep the peace.

In 2013, Whitmire suspended multiple students over comments they made in a photo posted on social media of Whitmire attempting to restrain a student he said was involved in a physical altercation. In that instance, Whitmire said racist and derogatory comments posted by students amounted to cyberbullying.

Newsweek reached out to Pittsburg High School for comment.

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