Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wiregrass Ranch High students face suspension for wearing Klan-like outfits to school

Three students at Wiregrass Ranch High School were suspended after they wore what appeared to be Ku Klux Klan costumes to school Thursday. 10News WTSP

Three students at Wiregrass Ranch High School were suspended after they wore what appeared to be Ku Klux Klan costumes to school Thursday. 10News WTSP

WESLEY CHAPEL — Three students at Wiregrass Ranch High School face suspension after they wore what appeared to be Ku Klux Klan costumes to school Thursday.

The students wore the outfits as part of homecoming week, during which each day has a theme and students are encouraged to wear attire that matches the theme. Thursday's theme was characters, said Pasco County School District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe.

Other students dressed up like superheroes and television characters, Cobbe said.

CLOWN HYSTERIA: Pasco County, Largo investigate reports of creepy clowns

The three students — two Hispanic and one Arabic, all seniors — were seen on school grounds in the costumes Thursday morning, Cobbe said. Distressed students alerted the administration, which called the three students in.

When the students arrived to talk with staffers, they weren't wearing the costumes. At first, Cobbe said, the students told administrators they had dressed like ghosts. School officials disagreed when they later saw photos of the three teens in white sheets with their faces covered and in pointy hats, Cobbe said.

"I never did get what their reasoning was — why they thought it was acceptable to dress like that," Cobbe said.

The students were cited for harassment and could be suspended from school for one to 10 days, according to school district policy, according to Cobbe.

Senior Emma Weiss, 18, president of the school's Unity Club, said she heard about the incident midday Thursday.

"I couldn't believe that students at our school would think that's appropriate," Weiss said. "What they did was inappropriate in every sense of the word."

She said students at Wiregrass Ranch High are well aware of the country's history of race relations.

"They had to have known," she said of the three students dressed in sheets. "But I don't think they meant it in a menacing way. I think they thought it would be funny. I don't think they thought it through."

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or jsolomon@tampabay.com. Follow @josh_solomon15.

Wiregrass Ranch High students face suspension for wearing Klan-like outfits to school 09/30/16 [Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2016 3:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December

    Blogs

    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.

  2. Taylor Swift congratulates Russell Westbrook on MVP Award

    Blogs

  3. Strategic Property Partners launches website for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

    Strategic Property Partners on Tuesday announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  4. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]
  5. ReliaQuest CEO Brian Murphy named sole Tampa Bay winner in EY state entrepreneur contest

    Business

    ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy was named one of nine winners statewide and the only one from the Tampa Bay area in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Florida Awards program. Murphy won in the IT security division after starting ReliaQuest in 2007. Five of the nine winners were from the Miami …

    Tampa's ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy was named one of nine winners statewide and the only one from the Tampa Bay area in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Florida Awards program. Murphy won in the IT security division after starting ReliaQuest in 2007.