Two Albuquerque, N.M., high school students were suspended and could face hate crime charges for allegedly photoshopping Ku Klux Klan hoods onto a class photo.
A group of Volcano Vista High School juniors reportedly were studying math when a student took a photo of the class -- which was later altered to depict the majority of students wearing KKK hoods. The only students left untouched were the black students in the classroom.
The photo circulated quickly on social media after two students posted it on Snapchat on Tuesday, Raquel Reed, Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent, told KRQE.
“This is not acceptable,” she said.
The two students who allegedly photoshopped the picture and shared it were suspended for 10 days, Reed said. One student was kicked off the school's football team following the incident.
But Mary Morrow-Webb, whose daughter is one of the black students in the picture, told WYFF she doesn’t think her kids will be safe going to school with the students who altered the photo.
“It was appalling, disgusting," she said. "We felt like this was just a serious display of hate."
Morrow-Webb and her husband have three daughters enrolled at Volcano Vista. They said all of their girls have experienced racist bullying there.
“I was shocked, angry, afraid for my daughters," the girls' father, Lamont Webb, said. "I just can't imagine what they feel like walking through the halls, having to deal with this.”
Vicki Bannerman, the principal of Volcano Vista High School, said the photo was brought to her attention minutes after it was posted.
In a letter to parents, Bannerman said the students responsible shared the picture as a joke. But she called it “repugnant and hateful.”
“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,” Bannerman wrote.
Bannerman said the suspended students don’t have a “malicious spirit. They just made a very, very poor choice.”
Reed said the district was “seriously considering” filing hate crime charges against the students involved.