A pair of Volcano Vista High Students thought it would be a good idea to post the above picture to social media, but now they may be facing hate crime charges.
It shows two African American high school students in a Volcano Vista classroom, surrounded by students in KKK hoods.
The picture quickly spread through social media after the Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent says two high school juniors posted it on the Snapchat app Tuesday, reported KRQE.
Superintendent Raquel Reedy said, “This is not acceptable.” Parents and other staff agreed.
The photo was brought to the attention of Volcano Vista Principal Vicki Bannerman just minutes after it was posted.
“A friend of her’s on campus made her aware of a picture that was posted in a Snapchat group and as soon as she was aware, she came to me,” said Bannerman.
The students modified to math class photo to add the KKK hoods. Bannerman tracked down the two students responsible and had the image removed immediately.
“Students were suspended for 10 days. One of them was on the football team and in essence, is off for this,” said Superintendent Reedy.
Principal Bannerman says the students posted the picture as a joke, and they didn’t think it would cause any negative reaction. She says they are sorry for their actions.
“They do not have, what I thought to be a malicious spirit, they just made a very very poor choice,” said Bannerman.
Many parents, like Jonathan Recio, do not buy the apologies. They feel the kids are racist and are only sorry they got in trouble for it.
“I feel they’re only sorry because they got caught. That’s my personal opinion. When it comes to racism like that, to that extent, that’s very inappropriate,” he said.
The superintendent of APS is not taking the inappropriate picture lightly.
“When our police went out and investigated, that it was such a serious matter, that we’re seriously considering filing charges of a hate crime,” she said.
The mother of one of the African American students in the picture posted the photo online, saying she doesn’t understand why her daughter was targeted, and that she’s afraid to go to school.
The principal says the staff is working with the students in that class to make sure they feel safe.
APS has not yet decided if the students will face hate crime charges.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)