California students and staff are scratching their heads over a freshman arriving at Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy Friday wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.
The Los Angeles high school student wore the garb June 8 as part of a history project written about Hiram Wesley Evans, a former imperial wizard of the KKK, according to ABC 7. Images and video of the student have since been circulating on social media.
And although other students at the school — which federal data show is 96 percent non-white — also dress like the people they’ve written their projects about, pupils say this getup went overboard.
“He wore it like throughout the school, like in nutrition, lunch, things like that. I don’t think that’s appropriate,” student Lance Dantignac told the news station.
Other students said they felt “unsafe and threatened” and “uncomfortable.”
Students said the teacher approves all students’ history project subjects as well as their costumes. They’re trying to wrap their heads around why the instructor OK’d a KKK figure.
“It kind of rattled me,” Trinity Young said. “It was hard to believe that she would allow a klansman to walk around from her approval. So, we asked her, and she said that she compared the Klan to the Black Panther Party, which in my opinion are two different things. So yeah, it was troubling.”
Another student also questioned the teacher’s approval while an alum said she remains fond of the school but believes “when we know better, we have to do better.”
Students said they spoke to administration about the incident and that parents were notified of what occurred. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Unified School District is opening an investigation. A spokesperson released the following statement to various outlets saying the costume is “insensitive and highly inappropriate.”
“L.A. Unified and Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy understand the extreme sensitivity around this issue and do not condone or support this type of re-enactment,” the statement said. “The District and the school are committed to supporting diversity and fostering an environment to encourage student success.”
As the story continues to generate headlines, several social media users have spoken out.
“This is why Kanye and Candace’s rhetoric is dangerous. The teacher thinks the Blank Panthers are the same as the KKK, allows California student to wear KKK costume to school for [a] project.”
“Someone better talk to this kid and his parents about how stupid this was! And someone better fire that teacher! IDIOTS!”
“I’m sorry, did I read that correctly? She said that the KKK was just like the Black Panther? And she’s a supposed history teacher? What type of hillbilie history is being taught in L.A.? Foolishness. Teacher and student need to properly learn history and learn WHY it’s bad.”