What would make 5 five white high school students in Iowa put on KKK hoods and pose for a picture?
I’ll pretend like I don’t know the answer, which is what most of America does when these incidents happen. According to one news report “residents of Creston [the Iowa city where the incident took place] on Wednesday expressed a mixture of surprise, embarrassment, and disgust” after the photo went viral.”
In the picture, the students stand before a burning cross and one holds a confederate flag.
Iowa sent 75,000 soldiers to fight against the Confederacy in the Civil War, but Iowa has oddly become home to two Confederate monuments since 2005.
Perhaps public school integration ain’t all it’s said to be. And, suburban schools aren’t the land of whole milk for black students.
According to Atlanta Black Star no one was more surprised than the school’s “Black star athlete,” Kylan Smallwood, who says he was shocked to learn some of the students in KKK hoods were members of his football team (Smallwood is the quarterback).
“I would see that kind of stuff like Charlottesville and think that’s pretty messed up.I never thought that would happen to our small town. I don’t want to be playing with kids like that,” he told the Des Moines Register.
One member of the football team provided an anonymous statement to the local news station:
“As a current student at Creston and a member of the football team I would just like to make a statement. The five individuals that were involved with the picture are clearly in the wrong and they will face the consequences eventuall. But I can promise everyone that as a whole our football team and community aren’t about that. The actions made by a small group shouldn’t represent the entire football team and community. I’m proud to be a part of what this team is actually about and it’s sad to see something like this ruin a rich tradition we carry.”
Police officials have say they will not get involved because no crime was committed, but the principal at Creston Community School District – Bill Messorle – confirmed with reporters that the students are being disciplined.
At least one of the students in the offensive pictures disproves the cliche of the apple not falling far from the tree. Jamie and Megan Travis, parents of one student involved in the picture, released a statement rebuking his actions and asking for “forgiveness” and “peaceful resolution.”
On behalf of the Travis Family, we sincerely apologize for the hurt and strife we have caused this community. We do not condone the behavior that was expressed in the recent photo that was disseminated throughout various media sources.
We understand that our son has conducted himself in a way that is inappropriate and has caused disruption in the community. Our son recognizes his poor judgment and respectfully asks forgiveness from his classmates, the school and the community. The photo in no way reflects our family values. Our family strongly believes that all individuals are created equally in God’s eyes.
We support Mr. Messerole, Mr. Morrison, the school board and other school officials as they impose the appropriate punishments on our son, including removing him from the football team. Additionally, we support the school as they educate our son and his classmates in helping them understand cultural diversity. As a family we have also taken measures to ensure that our son understands his actions and how they affect others.
Our goal is a peaceful resolution. We want to move forward and embrace our community in eliminating racism in Creston.
That’s a smart, classy, good move for these parents. And a good example for everyone else.