The Rambler

Opinion: Creston KKK Image Provokes Battle Between Morals and Law

Staff Editorial, Unanimous Agreement

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In our own Hawkeye-Ten Conference, a disturbing situation has brought up debate. The battle between morals and law has come into question, but on the topic of punishment, law has the upperhand.

Recently five Creston students posed for a picture next to a burning cross wearing Ku Klux Klan-like masks. One student is shown holding a gun while another is waving a confederate flag. This picture was posted on Twitter September 6 and has since gone viral, being published on national news sources such as The Washington Post, Time Magazine and newspapers across the nation. But what should their punishment be?

What these students did is racist, immoral, and is certainly to be looked down upon by society. All five have been kicked off the football team, as a result of violation to the Creston Football Team Handbook. This falls under a major community infraction which is any “activity detrimental to the team.” The handbook also states that the “severity of the infraction will determine the consequence.” It is unclear whether the non-senior players will be allowed to play their remaining years.

Simply being kicked off of the football team leaves some feeling as if these students did not receive enough punishment. On Twitter, where this situation came to light, many political  personalities and activists such as Sean King and Qasim Rashid, called for more severe penalties, such as expulsion. However, the Creston School District can only do so much to discipline and teach these young men. Since the students are off school grounds and were not targeting anyone specifically, this picture falls into the student’s First Amendment rights for free expression protected by the constitution unless the act causes a substantial disruption during school.

The test done in order to label an act as a substantial disruption asks whether or not the act “materially and substantially interferes with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school.”

The School Administrators of Iowa Legal Services Director, Matt Carver, believes that this act will cause a disruption within the school.

However, whether or not this situation has caused a substantial disruption within the Creston School District is unknown, as we do not have reports from within the school.

Unless decided that this act has caused a substantial disruption, any further punishment can not be done.

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