LAUSD student pictured wearing KKK garb for school project

WILMINGTON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles Unified School District student dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan for a school project, and students say they don't understand why the teacher approved the decision.

Photos posted to social media show someone dressed head to toe as a KKK member. According to students at Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, the photos were taken at the school on Friday.

The student wearing the garb is a freshman who chose to write about Hiram Wesley Evans, a former imperial wizard of the KKK, for his history project. That student decided to wear a costume representing Evans. Other students also dressed in costumes reflecting their chosen historical figure as well, but many students say this specific one was out of line.

"He wore it like throughout the school, like in nutrition, lunch, things like that. I don't think that's appropriate," said Lance Dantignac, a rising senior at the school.

"It made me feel like unsafe and threatened," said Eliza Dumag, another rising senior.

"I was uncomfortable, actually," said Kevin Gamino, another rising senior.

Students said the class teacher approves all of the students' choices for the history project and their costumes, and they can't understand why the teacher thought this would be OK.

"It kind of rattled me. It was hard to believe that she would allow a klansman to walk around from her approval. So, we asked her, and she said that, she compared the Klan to the Black Panther Party, which in my opinion are two different things," said Trinity Young, a rising senior. "So yeah, it was troubling."

Dumag also questioned the teacher's decision to approve the costume.

"I'm honestly questioning why she would think it was OK. I mean sure, he was a historical figure, but is that really a historical figure you want roaming around the school? It's not right," she said.

Rising senior Victoria Taylor said she believes there should be consequences to such actions.

"I still love HTPA, I always will, but I think when we know better, we have to do better," said Morgan Turner, an alum of HTPA.

Students said they talked to the administration about the incident and parents were notified. Meantime, LAUSD released a statement, saying in part:

"L.A. Unified and Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy understand the extreme sensitivity around this issue and do not condone or support this type of re-enactment."

The district statement also included an apology to the LAUSD community. It said an investigation is now underway, and that the district and school both are committed to supporting diversity.
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