Richardson ISD investigating racist school rivalry posts

Two high school students are facing consequences after they were caught posting offensive pictures involving slavery and the Ku Klux Klan to poke fun at a rivalry football game.

The pictures were posted to Snapchat and reported to Richardson ISD on Wednesday. Police helped the district track down two students at J.J. Pearce High School who admitted to posting the pictures.

Richardson ISD says when they first saw the pictures they called police right away to help them track down the students responsible.

While police say there's no crime involved and no charges are being filed, the school district does plan to lay down some kind of punishment

It’s a high school rivalry that went too far online. Pictures posted to Snapchat showing the JJ Pearce High School logo over the KKK and the Richardson High School logo on a burning cross. Other similar pictures use images of slavery.

The most inflammatory picture, that FOX 4 is not showing, involves Michael Brown and the former Ferguson police officer who shot and killed him.

Parents from both schools were disgusted by the photos.

“There's still no excuse,” said parent Scott Cowger. “I don't care how intense the rivalry gets. There's no excuse for any of that.”

“They should be expelled big time. You shouldn't do anything like that,” said parent Lynne Carpenter. “You've got to treat everybody with respect. Everybody.”

“It makes me think we have a lot more to do with teaching our kids how to treat one another and be more sensitive to each other's differences,” said parent Carol Duarte.

“You really truly need to understand the history behind what those pictures represent to all people,” said parent Jesse Scott.

Both schools sent identical letters home to parents addressing the issue and calling the images offensive and tasteless.

The students who posted the pictures face punishment from in-school suspension up to placement at the district's alternative education center for the rest of the semester.

“It's not going to be swept under the rug,” said Richardson ISD Spokesperson Chris Moore. “This is something. That is why we jumped in front of this as quickly as we could because it's such a volatile subject.”

Despite the divisive images, both schools showed unity ahead of the rivalry game Thursday night with both bands playing the national anthem together.

“Acts like this won't be tolerated,” Moore said. “We're going to do what we can to both educate the students, but also there's punishment. There's penalties with poor decisions.”

Richardson ISD also posted a picture on their Facebook page showing swimmers from both Richardson and JJ Pearce high schools with the hashtags "healthy crosstown rivalry" and "respect for all.”

A district spokesperson says they have racial sensitivity training programs in place and that could be something they consider, but state codes lay out what punishment they can give.

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