What to Know
Coatesville Area High School students could be seen on social media posing with pumpkins carved with a swastika and "KKK."
The Coatesville school district condemned the photos that a spokesperson says were taken away from school property.
The pumpkins incident follows an earlier controversy at the school over a doll left hanging from a ceiling in the school.
A Chester County school district called a photo of students posing with pumpkins bearing a swastika and the letters KKK "reprehensible and intolerable."
“We are extremely disappointed that any of our students would display this kind of hatred and vile behavior,” a school district spokesperson said.
“It’s reprehensible and intolerable, and this photo causes deep sadness and concern. We work extremely hard to promote a tolerant, respectful, inclusive learning environment, and this is in direct opposition to everything we stand for and believe in.”
Three current students from the Coatesville Area High School were shown smiling in the photo, which made the rounds on social media this week. One of the people pictured is a former student, a school spokesperson said.
The photo was not taken on school grounds or during school hours, according to the school district.
On Wednesday, several people could be seen standing outside the high school holding signs that read "Not funny" and "It's not a joke!" One parent told NBC10 her daughter and other students were planning to walk out in protest, but school security prevented them from going outside.
Meanwhile, officials condemned the photos and turned them over to police. School officials also contacted parents of the students who were pictured.
The photo follows another recent controversy at Coatesville Area High School in which members of the school’s cross country team took a photo of a doll hanging from the ceiling inside a locker room.
The superintendent of the Coatesville Area School District said the students responsible claimed it was a foolish prank with no intent of racial intimidation. School officials are still considering possible disciplinary action against the students involved in the so-called prank.
The school district will continue to investigate the pumpkin incident and also work with other groups, including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Mid-Atlantic Equity Center and NAACP this week to have conversations with students about racism, a spokesperson said.