KATY, Texas – Cinco Ranch High School student Blake Alcede thought it would be funny to make a mask out of newspaper during a class assignment.
School officials think he’s a racist because they contend the mask resembled a Klu Klux Klan hood, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Alcede said he didn’t initially realize the racial implications of making a newspaper mask, but now he does.
“I could see how it’s racist,” he said. “If you were doing it on purpose, it would be.”
School officials issued Alcede two days of three-hour, after school detentions for the incident. District officials announced in a public statement that a student who created a paper mask and “wore it during classroom instruction” was punished on April 5. The statement alleges Alcede told school officials he was familiar with the KKK when he crafted the mask, but the student disputes the claim.
“As a result, the student was disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct because of the offensive nature of his actions,” according to the district statement cited by the Chronicle.
The freshman provided a different take on what transpired in an interview with ABC 13.
Students were working on an assignment in their English class, and after finishing the assignment he cut holes in a leftover piece of newspaper and taped a strap on it to make a mask, Alcede said.
“My teacher was outside on the phone, so I decided to make a mask out of my finished work because we didn’t need it,” he said. “I put it on my head, put two eyeholes in it, and it was all fun and games.”
Alcede said another student added a cone-shaped top to the ensemble.
“I thought it was just a regular mask,” he said. “I didn’t know what the KKK was in the beginning, so everybody was laughing at me, taking pictures, putting it on Snapchat and stuff like that.”
When the teacher returned, she hauled Alcede to the front of the class for a lesson about the hate group, he said.
The teacher also apparently reported the incident to an assistant principal.
Alcede’s father, Jeremy Alcede, is livid because school officials presumed his son is a racist, and thinks the teen’s punishment is overkill.
“The principal said that he’s got two days of three-hour after-school detention each day,” Jeremy Alcede told ABC 13. “And I said that’s not gonna happen. I said they kid is playing, and he didn’t intentionally try to make a KKK mask, and she said, ‘Well, if he doesn’t go he’s gonna be suspended.’”
Jeremy Alcede is keeping his son home, refusing to comply with the school’s punishment.
The Chronicle pointed out that Jeremy Alcede served several weeks in a federal detention facility last year for refusing to provide passwords to social media accounts for a now defunct gun store. The single father of three was released after eventually providing the information.
“Before he lost ownership of Tactical Firearms during bankruptcy proceedings in 2014, Alcede gained a national internet following after posting photos of a curbside message sign that featured biting attacks on President Barack Obama,” the Chronicle reports.
“We like our guns locked up safe and secure like Obama’s birth records,” one of the signs read.
The elder Alcede said the racist assumptions about his son further confirms that society has become too sensitive. He’s “tired of being lied to and controlled” by the government, Jeremy Alcede told the Chronicle.
“We’re so far away from God and our Constitution these days that this world is all about political correctness and that is not what is fair,” he said.
“It’s adults that are messed up in the head, that are jaded,” the father said he told his son. “I’m not mad at you, that’s why I’ve got your back.”