Students Spark Outrage with Anti-Semitic Posts

Students Spark Outrage with Anti-Semitic Posts

On April 1, multiple images of hate speech were circulated around the popular social media app, Instagram. Several Alameda High School (AHS) students are under fire due to the leaked photos, originally private messages, that contained anti-Semitic, racial, and xenophobic hate speech.

By Saturday, April 2, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) had released an official statement on the incident.

“We learned today that some (AHS) students have posted rac¬ist and anti-Semitic words and images on social media,” the statement read. “This is unac¬ceptable behavior for members of our community, and we ada¬mantly denounce it.

“Hateful language and behavior has no place in AUSD. We want our schools to be inclusive, respectful, and safe places for all of our stu¬dents to learn, and we will continue to work with our site administrators to create those spaces.”

AHS is investigating the issue.

Hundreds of AUSD students, ranging from middle school to high school, voiced their opinions on the ordeal in online posts.

By Sunday, April 4 a post by Jon Jones (@justj0nes), a sophomore at NEA, had circulated throughout the entire Alameda community — amassing more than a thousand likes and hundreds of shares/ reposts.
“I feel as if social media has played the biggest part in bringing attention to these people and their actions the most,” said Jones.

“Most everyone is familiar with the layout of Instagram and the power to reshare others posts, and I feel like without that feature my message would have never been recognized and then shared by so many people. The ‘fire’ of social media spreads way faster than say mouth to mouth, whether that be positive or negative.”

Jones drafted a template email to send to AHS Principal Robert Ithurburn demanding that AUSD take action for the safety of minority groups in Alameda.

“I believe the first step of hold¬ing these people accountable is making sure that their schools are notified of their acts, not through spreading rumors but notified with real evidence, which we have in this case,” said Jones.

“Along with being shamed for their acts, I also believe that these individuals should serve some form of community service to help people of color and or the people they have offended, therefore forcing them to deal with the harsh realities the people they oppressed face every day simply because of their skin color.”

On Monday, April 3, Ithurburn released a statement about the incident through an email sent to only AHS students. Additionally, the students being held accountable have also released statements of apologies.
Many students spoke up about the fight for accountability and repercussions. In addition, students shared their disappointment in AUSD about the perpetrators not facing any consequences.

“Students have every right to be angry, scared, and concerned,” said AHS senior Joy Diamond. “It is beyond devastating and unacceptable that the administration failed to adequately acknowledge any of the pain and fear inflicted and the trauma surfacing ... beyond disappointing.”

Glenann Bautista is an Encinal High School journalist