It's unbelievable that anyone would think wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe out in public would be okay, but that's just what three North Dakota high school students did Friday night. To a well-attended high school hockey game nonetheless.
There they were in the stands during the state semifinal game. Shane Schuster, who posted a picture of them on Twitter that has since caused an understandable uproar, told the Associated Press he was in disbelief when he first saw them. "I thought, 'Are those KKK hoods?' I couldn't believe it. I was shocked."
It was an unfathomably idiotic and insensitive move. Whether they were making a statement other than stupidity is unknown. In any case, they should have known better. You have to wonder what their parents thought when they found out too. Was this kind of hatred learned at home, or were their parents heartbroken that their kids did this?
It wasn't, however, a completely random act. Hockey fans often participate in a "white out" during games. According to Fox News, the practice stated more than 25 years ago by the Winnipeg Jets and has since spread. As you can see most of those around them are dressed in white too. That's not any kind of excuse, because these were clearly more than just white outfits, but at least it puts it into some sort of context. It also should be noted that the high school they were playing against, Davies High School, was named for Ronald Davies, a former federal judge who helped integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957.
The school the students attend, Red River, has investigated the incident and said they only wore the hoods for about 30 seconds, which is neither here nor there. They wore them, and that's revolting. Principal Kristopher Arason went on to say the school was "extremely disappointed" and that it was "not a representation of our school or student body." He also said "appropriate action is being taken," but did not say what that was.
So how should they be punished? I don't know exactly, but it should be significant. If they're old enough to know what a KKK robe is they're old enough to know the hate it symbolizes. And that's not okay. Not at a hockey game or any school event.
How do you think these students should be punished?
Image via Twitter