Two Wyoming high school students were promptly disciplined after they came to their school’s "Spirit Day" Wednesday wearing long, white robes. One of the students, seen in a now-viral photo, walked through school doors carrying an American flag while wearing a pointed hood and a large cross around their neck.
“The facts indicate that they deliberately and intentionally entered the school in attire known to be associated with the Ku Klux Klan,” Jillian Balow, superintendent for Wyoming’s Department of Education, wrote on Twitter Wednesday night. “Hateful speech, attire, or behavior is unequivocally unacceptable.”
The students at Riverton High School were both promptly disciplined Wednesday, according to the Casper Star Tribune, although the extent of their punishment was unclear. Riverton High School said in a statement posted to its Facebook page Wednesday that it didn’t condone the students’ actions. (The students responsible have not been named.)
The school is located in a small town of approximately 11,000 people, the vast majority of whom are white.
“One student’s decision does not represent our school or district,” the high school said in the statement.
School faculty will meet to discuss the incident Thursday.
The superintendent for the school district said the students hadn’t previously spoken of any ideological or racist beliefs.
"It seems to be a very poor decision," Terry Snyder, the superintendent of Fremont County School District No. 25, told CNN. "They did not have an understanding of the impact that would create, but they do now.”
The school’s spirit day apparently encouraged a “white out” theme, according to the Washington Post, and some wondered if the boys were actually dressed as monks.
“This hurts our community, state, and nation,” Balow said on Twitter. “School personnel took swift action to remove the students, investigate the incident, and commence with disciplinary action.”
Cover: Image of Riverton High School, Facebook