A photo of fans wearing KKK hoods during a high school hockey game in North Dakota, caused outrage and sparked an investigation by school officials this weekend.
The incident occurred Friday night during a state hockey semifinal game held at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Three students from Red River High School were seen sitting together in the crowd wearing what appeared to be Ku Klux Klan-style white robes and hoods.
The Associated Press writes that 19-year-old Shane Schuster was attending the game when he noticed the offensive regalia and captured it with his camera phone.
The resulting photo kicked up a firestorm of controversy after Schuster posted it to his Twitter account. Schuster described his reaction to the students’ wardrobe:
“I thought, ‘Are those KKK hoods?’ I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked.”
The three fans wearing the KKK hoods were seated in the Red River High School student section. The offending outfits were almost lost among the crowd as fellow students participated in a traditional “whiteout” by donning primarily white clothing and white face paint.
Inforum reports that a subsequent investigation by school officials identified the three students.
It was concluded that they did not enter the arena wearing the KKK garb, but changed into the clothing following the first goal of the game. The students reportedly removed the garb between 30 and 60 seconds later.
Red River High School principal Kristopher Arason explained:
“The students removed the attire after students around them told them how offensive their attire was.”
Arason has stated that “appropriate action is being taken” against the students involved and their parents have been contacted by school officials. He expressed the school’s regret at the incident:
“We, as a school, are extremely disappointed with the behavior of these three students. This behavior is not a representation of our school or student body.”
What do you think about three fans wearing KKK type hoods and robes to a high school hockey game?