Racist Instagram page prompts protest, disgust at Albany High School

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Albany High School was in turmoil as students walked out in protest over rising racial tensions on campus Thursday that sparked on Instagram. (KGO-TV)

Albany High School was in turmoil as students walked out in protest over rising racial tensions on campus Thursday.

It was an emotional afternoon for students, parents, and administrators at the school. Many at the protest used the word "disgusted" when describing an Instagram page that depicted hate speech and hateful images.

"Well today, when we met with them, I really thought they would own up to what they did, and you know, kind of apologize, and a lot it was them defending themselves," said Amber Jones, a student whose picture appeared on the page. "And constantly saying, 'Well I didn't really add to it by liking and commenting, I didn't really think I was a part of it.' And none of them were like, 'I'm so sorry, I'm taking full responsibility. I hate what I did. I don't agree with it.' I didn't hear that."

"Their parents have not come to the board meeting which was four hours of public comment of people in Albany sharing their experiences about racism that are very similar to this," said parent Alexandra Campbell Jones. "And the pattern of the district and the Albany Police Department sweeping these incidents under the rug -- do we need to find one of our children hanging from these trees for people to take this seriously, this is not a joke."

"We will not tolerate racism. We will not tolerate anti-Semitism, we will not tolerate homophobia," said Albany School District Superintendent Valerie Williams. "We will not tolerate hate speech, or hurtful behavior in any way shape or form."

Williams says there have been reports of a noose at a nearby park, but that those reports were investigated by Albany police who said it was a swing.

The superintendent would also not comment about disciplinary action that might be taken against the students who created the Instagram page. She said those students have rights.
Related Topics:
newsracisminstagramsocial mediahigh schoolstudentscivil rightsstudent safetyteacherteachersAlbany
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