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Tennessee school issues 'severe disciplinary action' for video of student in KKK outfit yelling slurs

The video showed a student at Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville entering a room wearing a white hood commonly associated with the Ku Klux Klan while using racial slurs.
Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, Tenn.
Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, Tenn.Google Maps

A Christian school in Knoxville, Tennessee, said it handed down "severe disciplinary action" after a video on social media reportedly showed a student using racial slurs while in a white hood, commonly associated with the Ku Klux Klan.

The video was obtained by NBC affiliate WBIR of Knoxville and involves students from Grace Christian Academy. The footage shows someone wearing the hood sitting down in a chair with the word "Grace" written on the back. The news station reported that a person off-camera then commanded the person in the hood to talk.

The person shouted “Who do we hate?” before screaming a racial slur, according to WBIR. Several people off-camera can be heard laughing, the station wrote. NBC News has not seen the video in its entirety.

Tony Pointer, Grace Christian Academy head of school, addressed the incident in a Facebook statement Thursday.

"Immediately upon being made aware of an extremely inappropriate and deeply disappointing video yesterday afternoon that violates everything we value, the administration of Grace Christian Academy has taken swift action to meet with all students involved. Severe disciplinary action has been issued as GCA does not condone this behavior or any form of racism," he said. "We will continue to seek truth and enact appropriate discipline."

Pointer did not specify how many students were involved or what kind of disciplinary action was taken. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

"What we have witnessed in the last 24 hours is in no way consistent with the mission and core values of GCA. We are doing everything possible to ensure the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of all our students and staff," he continued.

Rep. Gloria Johnson, a Knoxville area Democrat in the Tennessee House of Representatives, said the video was "distressing."

"The fact that they were so bold and not even a bit embarrassed about this is just shocking. That they felt comfortable sharing it, means that they thought everyone else would think it was funny also," she tweeted Thursday. "Who taught them this?"

The Ku Klux Klan is the oldest hate group in America with a long history of targeting Black people. The Southern Poverty Law Center said the violent group also attacked members of the LGBTQ community, Jewish people and immigrants.