PITTSBURG, Calif. - Students on Monday marched in front of Pittsburg High School holding signs and shouting – angry that a student wore a KKK costume to school and that school administration did not take a hard enough stance on the issue.
Chanting "We just want justice for what's right," students were incensed that a student came to school before Halloween wearing a white hood and robe.
"It's not a costume," said Dehlia Strassner. "It's a hate crime. And it's really not OK."
In an email sent to parents, Principal Todd Whitmire said the student wore the costume on a dare – and he did face consequences.
But classmates say the teen only got suspended for a few days and they think he should have suffered a more extreme punishment.
"We just wanted to get the message out that he should be expelled instead of just suspended for a couple days because kids get suspended for fighting and this is worse actually," Dehlia said.
The email said that student will take part in the school’s restorative justice process to recognize how harmful wearing this type of costume can be.
Howard Farmer’s granddaughter is a student at the school. He said he grew up in the South and poking fun at the KKK is never funny.
"I’m 72 years old and all my life that hasn’t ‘been a joke," Farmer said. "My mom told me about stories when she used to sit in the dark in the house and everybody would have to be quiet and they could hear them on horseback with torches and hoods coming down the street."
This is the second race-related incident that sparked outrage in the East Bay in just the past couple week.
In Concord, two De La Salle High School students reenacted the death of George Floyd and pictures were shared on social media.
The president of the school said the situation was handled appropriately.