By Paul Mueller – WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – Several students at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Pasco County are facing disciplinary action after wearing what some would call inappropriate costumes to school Thursday.
News Channel 8 obtained photos of students wearing white sheets that resemble those worn by the Ku Klux Klan. A video shows several students walking on campus wearing the white sheets. Another student is seen wearing the Confederate flag.
This costume controversy occurred during the school's spirit week.
Students claimed they were dressing like ghosts. But Superintendent Kurt Browning doesn't buy that. The kids had on pointed hats and their faces were covered. They also appeared to have long white robes.
"Usually, ghosts don't have pointed hats," Browning told News Channel 8.
He said the costumes were completely unacceptable. "It was dealt with quickly this morning," Browning said. "The race relations and everything else going on across our country, the last thing we need to do is have any students dressed up, regardless of race, dressed up in that kind of costume."
Dee and Denico Green have a 10th grader at Wiregrass Ranch and are shocked, as is their son. "So for him to see this today, I know really hurt his spirit," Dee said.
"It sends a horrible message to a student," she said. "There needed to be a lesson in this. The fact that you cannot walk around spewing hate and discontent."
She questioned whether any action would've been taken if the pictures hasn't made their way to social media.
"Outrage," Denico said he felt when he saw the pictures. "Just complete outrage."
"If our kids are bringing this type of stuff to school, then we need to figure out where it's coming from and try to hit it on the head and try to prevent this from continuously happening," he added.
The student wearing the Confederate flag won't face any disciplinary action since thee school doesn't have a flag policy or ban. The students wearing the KKK-like robes will face a suspension of anywhere from one to 10 days. Their names aren't being released, but the school district did release their ethnicity, saying two are Hispanic and one is Middle Eastern.