CRESTON, Iowa — Students at Creston Community High School have seen racism before, just not necessarily close to home. “It was really scary because that’s stuff you see in the history books,” said Austin Bloyd, a sophomore at Creston High School. Early Wednesday morning school officials became aware of the picture on social media involving several Creston High School students, wearing white hoods similar to the Ku Klux Klan, holding what appears to be a confederate flag and a firearm. “It represents bigotry, hatred, it represents going back to a dark past, said sixth year principal Bill Messerole.
Austin, is just a handful of black students at the high school and felt as if the post was a direct shot. “It’s disgusting, I absolutely despise them for it now.” The picture took a toll Austin said, “I actually had to leave early. I kind of felt like I had to look out a little more with my surroundings and the people I surround myself with.”
Messerole could not name who the students were but the Creston News Advertiser reported that all five pictured were members of the Creston-Orient-Macksburg football team. “That picture does not represent our culture, it doesn’t represent our school and doesn’t represent our community,” said Messerole. But the next action does said Messerole. “How we react to this is going to say a lot about who we are and what we believe in.”
Out of 444 students at Creston High School, 15 students are hispanic, 7 are black, 7 are asian and 17 students are multi racial. While the school is just 11 percent minority, the majority of the community believes there’s just one right side in this issue. “It’s not black or white, not red or yellow. It’s not generational, it’s bad for every generation,” said Messerole.
While most students are aware of the ugly history the KKK represents, five students tried to open that wound that the Creston community now hopes to heal by coming together. Austin said, “It’s not a joke. Not just hurting and stuff but like killing a lot of minorities and trying to bring that history back is just not alright.
Messerole could not comment on the type of discipline the students received but did say expulsion would not be the answer.