The Citadel has suspended seven cadets who appeared in photos with pillowcases over their heads similar to Ku Klux Klan robes. An upperclassman who was photographed but not dressed up was also suspended.

College spokeswoman Kim Keelor said Friday the students have gone home and are not permitted on campus. She said there's been no decision whether they might be allowed to return.

Photos appeared on social media this week showing seven freshmen cadets, called knobs because of their short haircuts, wearing white T-shirts and white pants with the pillowcases on their heads.

John Rosa, president of the military college in Charleston, in a statement called the images "offensive and disturbing." He said initial reports indicated the cadets were singing carols as part of a "Ghosts of Christmas Past skit."