Two high school students in Albuquerque, New Mexico, could be facing hate crime charges for a photoshopped picture of a black classmate surrounded by Ku Klux Klan hoods.
Local news station KOB 4 reports that the students posted the photo on the school’s official Snapchat group, where it was seen by several other students before being removed.
“It was awful,” Mary Morrow-Webb, the mother of the student in the picture, told KOB 4. “It was frightening. 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.”
“You don’t expect your kids going to school and having to deal with racism and discrimination in 2017,” said Lamont Webb, the girl’s father. “It’s kind of appalling.”
The two students, who claimed that they only posted the photo as a “joke,” were suspended from school for ten days. Additionally, one of the students was kicked off the high school football team.
“We took this to our police department,” Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy told KOB 4. “They came and investigated and are really looking very carefully at whether we should file charges for hate crimes. This is something we’re looking at very carefully because it’s this serious.”