Disturbing Image Surfaces of High School Girls Dressed as KKK Members

kkkKids share a lot on social media -- as do adults. It causes us to sometimes learn the ugly side of people's thoughts and see actions we wouldn't expect. A group of teenagers shocked their town after an Instagram photo surfaced of six teen girls from Nash Central High School in North Carolina wearing Klu Klux Klan type outfits and making gun gestures with their hands. The community is outraged, but technically nothing can be done since no laws were broken.

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The photo is a sad reminder of the hate our children learn and are taught. A child isn't born with hate in their heart. The girls are all in white and wearing cone-shaped hats while pointing their fingers fixed in the shape of guns at the camera. It's disturbing to think they thought this was fun. The image appears to be taken on a porch of a home, and none of the girls have been identified. Though I would guess that those in the town may recognize them, even though faces have been blurred. The image was posted on November 26, during the time of the Ferguson riots, after the Michael Brown verdict.

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Many in this community in North Carolina were upset by this image, particularly at a time of racial tension -- and so it was brought to the police and the school board. A meeting was called and there was such a huge turnout, the crowd spilled out of the auditorium, down the halls, and outside. Monica Gilmore, a parent attending the meeting, said, "The incident of the young women posing as KKK members was a threat to our children and community."

But Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said, "In my opinion, I saw no laws that were violated." Since the photo was not taken on school grounds and it wasn't during school hours, there wasn't much he could do other than speak with the parents and the girls in the photograph. The police did just that, in conjunction with the school, but any disciplinary action wasn't revealed because it was called a private matter.

A deafening silence came over me when I first saw the image. It's a sad reminder of the hatred people have for other human beings. And because these were teenagers, I also thought of the parents -- was this hate learned from them? From their friends? Both?

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The photo did get the town talking, and acting, and voicing their opinions on how this type of behavior, even if it's a photograph, is wrong. The message of hate isn't going to be tolerated in this town. And I'm sure the incident sparked hours and hours of discussions not only at community meetings, but at kitchen tables and in living rooms, with families and children. I'm hoping these teens learned why that photograph was wrong and that the town can move forward more enlightened and in a more positive direction.

Do you think it's a criminal matter? What should have been done in this case?

 

Image via Image Editor/Flickr

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