Outrage over a high school student’s social media post has prompted a classmate at Masuk High School in Monroe to create a petition to have the student removed.
Students at Masuk High School said the school is a wonderful place that encourages diversity but one student’s social media posts are threatening that environment.
“A lot of people are upset – I’m upset. I signed the petition,” Victoria Jones, a senior at Masuk, said.
The unnamed student’s posts seem to be directed at students with disabilities and African Americans and one post mocked the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
“I actually have a family member who is autistic and that is just completely wrong,” Alexa Montalvo, a senior, said.
The petition on Change.org linked to some of those images, which include what appear to be the student’s Instagram profile that reads, in part, “My freedom of speech allows me to post offensive things. If you don’t like it you don’t have to look at it.”
While the poster might have freedom of speech, some parents are concerned about what the posts are doing to the school environment.
“When cyberbullying or any bullying that intimidates kids it takes away from their learning experience in high school,” Mark Cavone, a Masuk parent, said.
As of Thursday evening, the petition had more than 2,600 signatures and the school district has responded to the students’ concerns.
Superintendent James C. Agostine released the following statement:
“I want to reiterate and emphasize that any type of discriminatory or inappropriate behavior by any Monroe Public Schools students, or staff, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
"I remain in contact with Monroe Police Chief John Salvatore, as we continue to work together on the on-going investigation into these very disturbing social media posts that have cast our entire school community in a poor light.
"This incident was brought to our attention on Monday of this week and since that time it has been our primary focus.
"We have established disciplinary protocols in place, for that reason I am confident that all of our actions taken to date continues to provide a safe environment for our entire school community.”
Police have been called in to investigate the posts.