November 29, 2022
Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, and Students,
Today, while continuing to investigate the social media incident from yesterday, evidence was brought forward to prove that the student listed at the top of the Snapchat message that has been shared across social media did NOT in fact write that message. Evidence was provided that it was in an altered message, created to make it look like someone else posted it. The students involved in creating the fake post have taken responsibility for their actions and will be held accountable in accordance with the WGHS Code of Conduct.
This morning on the announcements, I thanked the students who came forward and reported these incidents to teachers and administration. Those reporting directly to the adults in the building help us to expedite investigations and hold people accountable for their actions. I also reiterated with students how important it is to not re-post these messages. Student leaders on the Restorative Council have shared that when students screenshot and share these messages, it causes additional and unnecessary pain and trauma to those who they are further exposing to hate speech and images. I have asked students who have copies of these images, or who may have re-posted them to their own social media accounts, to take them down and work with us to stop the spread of hate at West Genesee High School.
I ask that parents, guardians, and caregivers please monitor your student’s activity on social media accounts. It is our experience that students at the high school level are still struggling to appropriately interact on social media. We see throughout our investigations that even when a student is not actively participating in a group discussion to which they have been added, they are often still being exposed to inappropriate content. It can be, and is, very difficult for students to navigate without adult support. While there are ways to behave inappropriately on any social media platform, SnapChat seems to be built to provide coverage for inexcusable behavior by allowing for disappearing messages, etc. The only way to get ahead of it is to be actively involved in their online activity. No parent ever expects their child to make these poor choices, but it happens. Please help us to work towards a better West Genesee High School, a space where all of our students feel welcome, safe, and accepted. We need to work together.
Thank you for your time and support of West Genesee High School.
West Genesee High School