Officials of the Highlands High School are investigating a bizarre incident of a racist student who posted on snapchat an image of a fake licensee to hunt Black people.
School officials were made aware of the photo when a student brought it to the attention of the principal. The photo showed a picture of a card with the title “N****r Hunting License.” The fake license said that the owner of the card was permitted to hunt and kill Black people during the “hunting season” — which takes place between Jan 1 and Dec 31.
After performing an investigation, the school said that at least one student shared the racist image with friends. Principal Dan Gottron said the unidentified student was removed from the school but did not elaborate if the student was expelled or suspended.
— KDKA (@CBSPittsburgh) December 2, 2016
“We found the initial student who posted it and dealt with that student appropriately,” Gottron told triblive.com. “The school in no way condones this kind of behavior.”
Members of the community were outraged that such an offensive image could circulate in their area. Highlands District Superintendent Dr. Michael Bjalobok reached out to parents and informed them of how they will be taking swift action.
“It’s just a horrible type of situation. Totally unacceptable to the Highlands School District. We will not tolerate this and we’re going to definitely follow our board policy in issuing consequences for this action,” Dr. Bjalobok told CBS Local Pittsburgh.
District officials became aware of the situation near the end of the school day on Thursday, the CBS Pittsburgh states. The fake license says the holder is permitted to hunt and kill black people during open season, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
“Once that happened, it got forwarded to multiple [people], that’s when we became aware. Someone turned it into [Principal Dan Gottron], he started to investigate and follow through with that,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Bjalobok said.
The racist student has not been identified, but the school has already taken disciplinary action. The student is no longer at the school, but it is unclear if they were suspended or expelled.
Many in the community were stunned by the image.
Regis Uhric: It’s an outrage, I thin it’s stupid.
Brenda Waters: Are you shocked to see this?
Regis Uhric: I am, I really am.
A notice will be sent home to the families of students within the district.
School Investigating Fake Racist Hunting License Posted On Social Media https://t.co/5Z6xDa5mgW
— Moms of Black Boys (@mobbunited) December 5, 2016
In a letter written to the school’s families, the school’s leadership called “these types of actions are totally unacceptable” adding that they “will not be tolerated,” the Complex reports. A portion of the lengthy letter signed by the schools principals and the dean of students reads:
There are many things in our society that can threaten the culture we are trying to build, including the proliferation of and condoning of views that are offensive, derogatory, or threatening to other individuals or groups of individuals. Our kids are far too important to allow these views to be tolerated in our schools, and we take any kind of expression of prejudiced views regarding race, religion, socioeconomic status, or other traits as serious attempts to derail our community.
We want to be proactive in addressing any prejudiced views in our school and community, and encourage each of you to join us in a positive and solution focused dialogue. We will be holding town hall meetings throughout the community this year and would like to invite you to share your valuable insights about how we can move forward together. Additionally, we have developed a mentoring schedule in which we will regularly meet with our student body to discuss many topics, including prejudice in our society and just how much damage and hurt these views can create.
As we move forward together, there will be times where individuals within our school exhibit attitudes and behaviors outside of the culture we are trying to build. Recently a specific post involving derogatory racial tones was spread through social media. You have our assurance that any reports of inappropriate or threatening behavior will be fully investigated and that we will respond appropriately based on the result of our investigation. These types of actions are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
This is obnoxious. How on earth did he get such an idea? This racist student really needs to be thoroughly investigated. The frequency at which we witness such incidences is due to the fact that our schools and the society at large are beginning to see such racist acts as a normal practice. But it isn’t at all. It is unacceptable and inhumane!