Police are investigating several high school students in Wellesley, Massachusetts, for allegedly posting racist and Anti-Semitic comments, and threats on social media.
Students from Wellesley High School and other surrounding communities have been accused of racial and ethnic harassment as well as hate speech.
According to David Lussier, the Superintendent of the Wellesley Public Schools, the district is still working to investigate the allegations.
"In the past few days, we have learned about disturbing allegations of racial/ethnic harassment as well as hate speech," Lussier wrote in a letter to parents, Tuesday. "We will work diligently to ensure that our schools continue to be safe and productive learning environments for all students."
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He added, "We will work with our community partners in the days ahead to meet this charge. We plan to share specific action steps we will be taking together as we move ahead in this process."
Some of the posts are believed to have racist and Anti-Semitic language and mentions of genocide.
Lussier declined an interview with NECN, but said they are in the process of investigating the students, some of whom are from surrounding communities.
NECN obtained copies of the comments, which were written during a group Facebook chat last Friday. It appears several students were referencing their classmates of color throughout a lengthy exchange that included racial slurs and violent threats.
In one portion, a student wrote, "If one more N***** shows up in this group chat, I'll (expletive) lynch him."
Another classmate stated he hated African Americans and wanted to "genocide" them.
The conversation was shared by several students at Wellesley High School, who today told NECN they hope the school takes action.
According to Lussier, disciplinary action will be determined at the completion of the investigation. In the meantime, he said the district is working closely with community groups, such as the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), to discuss how to address the issue moving forward.
No disciplinary action has been taken at this time.
The complete letter to parents can be found here:
Dear Members of the WHS Community:
In the past few days, we have learned about disturbing allegations of racial/ethnic harassment as well as hate speech involving students from Wellesley High School and from some surrounding communities. While we are still in the process of investigating these allegations, we believe it is important to name such a visible violation of several of our Core Values including Respect for Human Differences, Cooperative and Caring Relationships, and Commitment to Community. These core values only mean something if their violation draws an immediate and visible response.
At a time when issues of race and division are challenging the nation, we should not assume that we are immune to these same challenges in Wellesley. To this end, perhaps there has never been a more important time to underscore our ongoing belief that our strength lies within the diversity of our community.
We will work diligently to ensure that our schools continue to be safe and productive learning environments for ALL students. As always, we will work with our community partners in the days ahead to meet this charge. We plan to share specific action steps we will be taking together as we move ahead in this process.
We thank you in advance for helping to underscore these important messages to our students and to our entire community.
Dr. David Lussier
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Jamie Chisum