Students from five top private Baltimore schools have been accused of wearing racist costumes at Halloween parties over the weekend, or adding racist captions onto party photos.
One image shows a white man in a prison jumpsuit with ‘Freddie Gray’ written on the back, and the caption ‘ur going to jail tonight’. The death of Gray, a black man, in police custody led to riots in Baltimore.
Another photo shows two white students also dressed in orange overalls with the caption ‘n*****s broke out’ while a third shows a shirtless man with swastikas and the N-word drawn on his back, CBS Baltimore reported.
These two photographs emerged from two separate Halloween parties over the weekend, as students from several elite Baltimore private schools displayed shocking racism
None of the students in question are being identified because they are minors.
The ‘Freddie Gray’ costume was being worn by a student of Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The photo was taken an off-campus party at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, the school said.
Boys’ Latin Headmaster Christopher J Post said in a letter to parents that he was ‘deeply troubled that an individual would choose to act in this way’ and ‘so sorry for any hurt or pain that these actions have caused.’
‘Boys’ Latin denounces the insensitivity and intolerance depicted by these images,’ he wrote.
Freddie Gray (pictured), who is referenced on one of the pictures, infamously died of a broken neck while in police custody, causing days of civil unrest in Baltimore
‘In no way, shape or form will Boys’ Latin support or tolerate actions or behaviors that demean or belittle another person, a group of individuals, or the suffering that one may endure.’
The College of Charleston in South Carolina said the division of student affairs and department of public safety are investigating and will take action if rules were broken.
‘Our education and our campus community are about lifting each other up, not tearing each other down,’ President Glenn McConnell wrote Monday in a campus-wide letter.
‘Racism and intolerance of any kind have no place on our campus – and in our world.’
The two other students in jump suits were at a different party from the ‘Freddie Gray’ student and attend the Gilman School and Roland Park Country School, the schools said in a joint statement.
‘Know that we take any situation involving our students seriously, and this is no exception,’ the schools said.
In this third photo, a man has swastikas on his back; blanked out is a drawing of a penis (left) and the N-word (over his shoulder-blades). He attends one of the Baltimore schools
‘Please understand that many involved in this situation are minors and we respectfully remind you of this as we work through the details.’
One of the students’ parents said that their child was innocent and that they were ‘just having fun’ in a prison costume when the person who took the photo ‘misrepresented’ them.
‘These are costumes that are widely available and the responsibility for this lies with the folks who misrepresented what went on,’ the parent told the Baltimore Sun.
The person who took that photo – and added the caption – attends Mount Saint Joseph High School.
Someone claiming to be that student apologized on Twitter Sunday, saying the caption ‘N*****s broke out’ was a line from an Ice-T song that was playing at the time.
George E Andrews Jr, the school’s president, said in a statement: ‘Obviously, this sort of behavior cannot be tolerated, and we share in the hurt and dismay this action may have caused.
‘We take all matters involving students seriously, and will determine how best to address the matter internally after further investigation.’
The shirtless student with swastikas attends St Paul’s School, CBS Local reported.
In a statement, the school said: ‘St Paul’s School does not tolerate any form of hate or discrimination.
‘The School is investigating an incident that occurred off campus and outside of school hours, and will take the necessary and appropriate steps.
‘Privacy policies do not permit us to provide any further information. We remain committed to fostering an inclusive community whose members respect themselves and one another.’
The Gilman School (pictured) was one of the high-end educational establishments associated with the photos. All of the schools denounced the images and promised to investigate