Some Klein Oak HS students spark controversy with photo

Students at Klein Oak High School created a stir with a photo many believe is offensive.

SPRING, TEXAS - It's a picture at the center of yet another post-election flare up.

It's so offensive, we can't show you on TV.

It depicts a group of Klein Oak High students wearing camouflage and giving the finger. The caption read: "Redneck population, (expletive) you if you don't like us 'cause we're here to stay."

"All my friends are in that picture," said one student, who didn't want to be identified. "All they did was take a simple picture, like a big family, then some girl says that it was racist."

It's stirred up passionate feelings inside Klein Oak High School.

"You could tell there was an elephant in the room," one student said. "They come to school with Make America Great Again hats and (Donald) Trump shirts, and that starts an argument."

Tuesday, students vowed to wear camo in support of the students in the controversial photo.

"Everybody gave me the dirty look just because I wore camo today," another student said.

There was a counter protest, too. Students wore all black to protest against the photo and Trump's presidency.

Education consultant Lindy Kahn says the Klein Oak photo sent a message of intimidation and bullying.

"It is not appropriate to exhibit that in front of a high school," Kahn said. "It sends a bad message. And actions have consequences."

It's the latest incident in U.S. public schools since Trump was elected. In the last week, swastikas appeared in a college dorm in New York, UPenn students started receiving racist text messages, and students marched the halls of their school shouting, "white power."

"It creates fear in some of our minority students and the Muslims," Kahn said. "These kids are terrified that their families will be deported."

President-elect Trump has urged his supporters to stop the bigotry. Kahn says our leaders are saying the right things, and now administrators, school officials and even parents needs to speak to make it clear none of this is acceptable.

"There does need to be an immediate response so as not to encourage this kind of behavior," Kahn said.

Klein I.S.D. released the following statement:

"The students pictured in the inappropriate photograph have been dealt with by campus administrators in accordance with the District Student Code of Conduct.

"The principal did not ban camo clothing as reported by some local media, and no students received discipline as a result of wearing camo clothing. He and his leadership team continue to establish positive relationships with the students so as to create the best learning environment for all the students at Klein Oak. All voices are heard and respected."

(© 2016 KHOU)


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