Several current and former students at Baltimore private schools are being investigated by their institutions after photos of them dressed in racially inflammatory costumes appeared on social media.

According to The Baltimore Sun, several images of white students dressed as inmates and slain African Americans have surfaced, causing alarm and concern. Pictures of a male and female students in orange jumpsuits hit social media, accompanied by racial slurs. One post featured the caption "N*ggas broke out."

The students in the photos are believed to be juniors at Roland Park Country School and Gilman School. Another student, who dressed as Freddie Gray,  is a former Boys’ Latin School of Maryland student. 

“Know that we take any situation involving our students seriously, and this is no exception,” representatives from both Gilman School and Roland Park Country School wrote in a joint statement on Monday. “Please understand that many involved in this situation are minors, and we respectfully remind you of this as we work through the details.”

One student who became privy to the photos believes this incident may be a necessary evil that will spark needed conversations about race.
“It’s like, really good that we have these conversations, because it lets us learn,” said Yemisi Ojolayo. “My teacher, she was going off about how racism is taught, and how they are influenced by social media and their parents, and many other people.”

St. Paul’s School also released a statement:

“St. Paul’s School does not tolerate any form of hate or discrimination. The School is investigating an incident that occurred off campus and outside of school hours, and will take the necessary and appropriate steps. Privacy policies do not permit us to provide any further information. We remain committed to fostering an inclusive community whose members respect themselves and one another.”

A former Gilman student, James Scott, has been pleased with the schools' reaction, noting that these incidents often play out differently than they are this time.

“What it means to be the sole minority in a sea of upper middle class white people is tough,” Scott said. “Oftentimes in schools when things like that are brought up people dismiss the minority students’ claims as, ‘Oh, you’re over reacting’ or ‘Oh, that’s not racist.’”

One parent showed that Scott's concerns are not unfounded, saying, "These are costumes that are widely available and the responsibility for this lies with the folks who misrepresented what went on. These kids were just having fun at a Halloween party.”

Regardless of what the students' parents think, the schools themselves plan to "address the matter internally," according to one school official.

Another school leader, President Glenn McConnell of the College of Charleston (the school the young man in the Freddie Grey costume currently attends) had some simple, common sense advice.

“If you have the slightest doubt if your costume/party theme is insensitive,” McConnell said, “Be smart and don’t do it.”