Two students at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have been suspended after sharing a racist image on Snapchat with their fellow classmates.
The image shows a classroom in the high school with a single African-American student. The other students surrounding the black student in the middle have Ku Klux Klan hoods superimposed over their heads.
The principal of the school has described the image, shown below, as “repugnant and hateful.”
Mary Morrow-Webb, the mother of the African-American student in the image, said that the image frightened her. “It was awful,” Morrow-Webb said. “I just really got sick to my stomach. I was afraid for my daughters and for the other children there that are at risk for these types of threats.”
An immediate investigation into the image resulted in 10-day suspensions for both students who disseminated the photo. One of the students was also kicked off the football team, reported KOB 4 Eyewitness News. The students said the image was supposed to be a joke.
The child’s father was similarly angered by the image. “You don’t expect your kids going to school and having to deal with racism and discrimination in 2017,” Lamont Webb said.
The image has been especially heartbreaking for the African-American student involved, and her siblings. She hasn’t returned to school since the picture went public.
Racist incidents in public schools have been noticeably higher since the ascension of Donald Trump during the presidential election last year. In the weeks after he won the contest in November, teachers across the nation reported higher rates of bullying.
In just the first week after Trump was elected, for example, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported more than 400 separate incidences of bullying, harassment, and other acts of intimidation against students of color, female classmates, LGBT students, and other minorities in schools.