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Students don white hoods in racially charged photo

Students don white hoods in racially charged photo
Students don white hoods in racially charged photo
Posted at 4:40 AM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-08 00:44:50-04

CRESTON, IA (KCCI/CNN) - Students and administrators at Creston High School are stunned by a racially charged photo on social media.

Several high school students who are in the picture are being disciplined.

Austin Boyd, a sophomore, one of the six percent of minority students in the district, said he was "kind of confused and shooken up by the whole thing." 

He said he knows all five students in the picture and until Wednesday he thought much differently about them.

"Some of those guys were my friends, and I didn't really think they thought that way," Austin said.

His father, Derrick Boyd, said funny looks and whispers he is prepared to deal with. He  also says he was not prepared for the in your face symbols of racism in the picture nor the fact some of the young men in the picture have been in his house.

"It just hurts, but I know the parents of some of these kids and they are really good," he said.

Derrick Boyd may be prepared to forgive and forget, but his son Austin is not at that place yet.

"I lost all respect for them," he said.

Austin said on the bright side are the classmates and staff members who have rallied behind Austin to give him support and love he needs as he works through this picture featuring those he called friends. 

Principal Bill Messerole called the picture embarrassing and sad. He said this is not Creston High School or the community. 

"When an incident like this happens, it becomes doubly important that kids know when they come here they are valued for who they are," he said.

At this point, why the students took and posted this picture is not known.

"It shouldn't have been done at all," student Casey Batton said. "Like, there is a line. There is a line for jokes and a line for everything and that line was severely passed."

Copyright 2017 KCCI via CNN. All rights reserved.