Citadel investigates photos of cadets pillowcases on heads

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — South Carolina's military college The Citadel is investigating after pictures surfaced on social media this week of cadets dressed in all white with pillowcases over their heads, images similar to the Ku Klux Klan.

A statement from college president called the photographs offensive and disturbing and said the college has begun proceedings to suspend the eight students involved.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Rosa's statement said seven cadets as well as an upperclassman cadet were in the photographs.

The pictures show the students dressed in white T-shirts and white pants. Rosa said preliminary reports indicate the students were singing Christmas carols and supposed to be portraying "Ghosts of Christmas Past."

But he said the pictures aren't consistent with the college's core values of honor, duty and respect.

Rosa's full statement is published below:

A social media posting, which I find offensive and disturbing, was brought to my attention this morning. It shows an upper class cadet in front of seven cadets with pillowcases over their heads. In accordance with college policy, we immediately began suspension proceedings for those cadets known to be involved, and we are continuing to investigate this incident. Preliminary reports are cadets were singing Christmas carols as part of a “Ghosts of Christmas Past” skit. These images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect.
We will provide more information upon completion of the investigation.