MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Several high school students face consequences because of what they wore to a yearly fundraiser.
At least seven Mound Westonka High School students wore costumes that some felt resembled garb worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan during Wednesday night’s dodgeball event at the school.
High school senior Ryan Anderson was inside the school Wednesday night when the winning dodgeball team, called “‘TeamDoot” donned white pointed hats.
“I turned around, and the team behind me looked like they came in with a Ku Klux Klan uniform, or an interpretation of it,” Anderson said. “It was something to say the least.”
Several students and parents told WCCO they believe the boys’ actions went too far, but don’t think they meant to offend anyone. Some students even started the Twitter hashtag “unsuspendteamdoot.”
Westonka School district released a statement:
“On Wednesday night Jan. 27, Westonka Schools administration received a report that a small group of students who had participated in a fundraising event at Mound Westonka High School had been involved in offensive conduct. Staff and administrators did not witness nor receive any reports of behavior believed to be inappropriate during the event. Upon receiving allegations of misconduct later that night, school and district administration promptly launched an investigation.
“During the investigation, it was determined that actions taken by some students, both on and off campus, were in violation of district policy, and appropriate action was taken in accordance with district policy. Investigation into possible misconduct by other students is ongoing.
“Westonka Schools is deeply committed to providing a safe and welcoming learning environment that respects diversity in all forms and will continue to work with families to ensure the wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors.”
Allegations also surfaced that some students made white supremacist comments on social media.
One screen grab of a Snapchat shows a boy in a white pointed hat with the caption “Grand wizard,” a term for the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Anderson says these actions are not a representation of a school and community he finds welcoming and positive, andhopes this situation will lead to positive discussion and learning.
It is unclear the extent of punishment for all of the students involved. Some are facing suspension.
The district says it is still investigating other possible misconduct by other students.