High school dress codes can be complicated. What’s not complicated, though, is saying, “Maybe don’t dress like a KKK Grand Wizard at school!” Or so you would think.
Then I started seeing reports about a Los Angeles-area teenager who showed up to his school in full Klan regalia—robe, hood, the works—this past Friday. Understandably, the as-of-yet unidentified student spooked the hell out of his fellow Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy classmates. But ABC 7 Los Angeles reported on Thursday that this had all been approved by the student’s teacher as part of a presentation on former KKK Grand Wizard Hiram Wesley Evans.
“He wore it like throughout the school, like in nutrition, lunch, things like that. I don’t think that’s appropriate,” one classmate told the station.
Why the student felt the need to wear the KKK’s infamous hate-rags to lunch is unclear.
Another student said that not only did the teacher approve the costume for the classwork, but “she compared the Klan to the Black Panther Party, which in my opinion are two different things.”
“So yeah, it was troubling,” the student added.
In a statement to CNN on Friday, the Los Angeles Unified School District condemned the incident:
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 District and the school are committed to supporting diversity and fostering an environment to encourage student success.
A district spokesperson also confirmed to NBC Los Angeles that the incident is under investigation. I have reached out to the school for comment and will update this story with any response.
Students and teachers at Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy are currently enjoying their summer break where, presumably, they can choose whether or not to dress as infamous racists within the comfort of their own home.