Coach kicks students photographed in Klan hoods off football team

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) — Five southern Iowa high school students who appeared in a photo shared on social media wearing white hoods and waving a Confederate flag next to a burning cross have been kicked off the high school football team, the coach said.

Creston/Orient-Macksburg football coach Brian Morrison told The Des Moines Register on Thursday that the five Creston High School students are off the team, which was scheduled to play Friday night.

Morrison said he had spoken with the parents of all the students involved and informed them the teens were no longer on the team.

Morrison also said lawyers have become involved, but he couldn’t provide details about whom the lawyers are representing or what they are advocating.

“Litigation is what it is,” Morrison said. “At this point tonight, they’re not with us.”

Earlier in the week, Principal Bill Messerole said the students involved have been disciplined, but would not say what that discipline entailed, citing student confidentiality.

Local law enforcement officials have said the boys’ actions fall under protected speech and that there is nothing for police to investigate.