Palmyra Area School District is investigating social media posts that show a photo of what appears to be a white Palmyra high school student with the n-word labeled over it.
Superintendent Bernie Kepler said Tuesday he and Palmyra Area High School Principal Scott Richardson received several emails from people locally and nationally about the post, which had been shared hundreds of times as of Tuesday afternoon.
The district acknowledged the posts in a public statement on its Facebook page Tuesday:
“On the morning of June 3, 2020, The Palmyra Area School District was made aware that disturbing racist images were present on social media. The district administration is appalled with the content of the images. These images do not reflect the values of our school community. This morning, district administration immediately notified local law enforcement. The school district is currently conducting an investigation to gather as much detail as possible.”
Palmyra Borough Police Chief Andrew Winters said he was aware of the matter and that police are looking into it.
The school has made no decisions regarding disciplinary action or other consequences, Kepler said, as officials don’t yet have all of the information. They are trying to determine the origin of the posts and whether the image was created by the student in question, Kepler said.
“We’re saddened by this and we want to work with our student body to learn from this and grow,” Kepler said.
Richardson noted that as educators, they are responsible for more than just basic education.
“Our fundamental purpose is to teach kids and to work with them, not just on curriculum but on social-emotional issues and raise their awareness and be role models and expose them to all different kinds of experiences,” Richardson said. “If we’re going to make systemic change regarding issues of equality, and not just racial equality but sexual and gender equality as well, as a school institution we need to continue to work on the education of our students.”
Nora Shelly can be reached at 717-454-7817 or email@example.com
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