Police investigate Anti-Semitic social media post

Southington police are investigating a social media post that contained an Anti-Semitic content and was made by a stu...

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 3:10 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 3:10 PM

Southington police are investigating a social media post that contained an Anti-Semitic content and was made by a student.

The Snapchat post was made on Dec. 7, according to school officials.

WARNING: Graphic content.

Police said they started investigating on Dec. 8.

No charges have been filed at this time. Police said the names of those involved in the incident were withheld, due to their age.

The incident prompted a statement from Southington superintendent Tim Connellan.

"It was reported to me that a student posted on social media an image with completely inappropriate, ethnically derogatory language and symbolism. This behavior did not occur in school, but it did impact some of our students. The school administration was informed and the Southington Police Department was informed. An investigation was conducted and the parents of the student who posted the image were contacted. While this behavior did not seem to be directed toward any one individual, it is clearly unacceptable behavior in terms of our expectations for student conduct as a school district and as a community. The school administration and the SPD reacted swiftly to intervene and to minimize the impact on our students. I believe we have been successful in doing so and our staff will be proactive in addressing any student needs that may arise as a result of this incident.

This incident and others like it, that we read about and hear about should remind all of us that in addition to the positive aspects of some social media, there are aspects that can affect the children of this community in negative ways. Please continue to supervise closely your children's use of social media. Also, please feel free to reach out to your child's teacher, counselor, other support services staff, or school administrator if you have concerns or questions regarding your child's use of social media. We have very caring and dedicated staff who are there to help you and your child deal with these issues."

The photo shows offensive symbols like Nazi swastikas accompanied with "I love Hitler" and Jewish gang symbols scribbled on a young teen's back.

During a phone conversation, Connellan said that what is being seen on the national level is unfortunately being seen in schools.

The anti-defamation league has been studying just that.

"Nationally for the first three quarters of this year, compared to the same time period last year we saw an over 100% increase in the number of incidents, anti-Semitic incidents reported to our office just in schools," said Steve Ginsburg of the state's Anti-Defamation League.

Ginsburg said it's important not to simply blame a teen for their mistake but teach them about showing empathy to those their actions affect.

"There's a lot of importance of teaching the history of the holocaust, a lot of importance in teaching the history of anti-Semitism and I don't know if you're an average student in Connecticut is getting that education," Ginsburg said.

He added that responsibility is also with parents to have discussions with their kids at home.

Superintendent Connellan said that support staff and counselors were made available for anyone that needed.

A report will air starting at 5 p.m.

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