A high school in Georgia is investigating an incident in which a photo of tennis players wearing white bags reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan hoods appeared last week on social media.
According to 13 WMAZ in Macon, eight Telfair County High School players were photographed aboard the team bus after losing in a tournament in Rome, Ga., to a team that included black players. Telfair County superintendent Lenard Harrelson called the photo — which reportedly first appeared on Snapchat and later on Facebook — “highly offensive.” He indicated players would face discipline without specifying which players or what form the punishment would take.
A change.org petition is calling for school officials to prohibit the students from participating in the graduating ceremonies had garnered more than 1,700 signatures as of this morning.
According to Fox News, one user on Facebook called for immediate expulsion, stating, “This is not kids being kids, this is racists being racist.”
At least one Telfair County student expressed surprise by the players’ behavior, as reported by the New York Daily News. “They’re really cool people,” said sophomore Sheen Wooten, who is black. “They never did anything to me that was racist. I heard they were playing around, but you don't play like that.”