EDWARDSVILLE, IL - A stronger police presence is expected at Edwardsville High School Wednesday due to racist social media posts. The school's principal sent two letters to parents Tuesday informing them that extra officers will be on campus. Administrators say offensive online posts made by students led to disruptions and a number of conflicts.
Students offended by the posts are asked to report them to their parent(s) or school administrators.
The school's superintendent sent this letter home to parents:
"The purpose of this letter is to personally update you regarding an isolated incident that began yesterday, Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at Edwardsville High School that escalated as a result of an off-campus electronic Snapchat post. Due to the nature of social media, the Snapchat post spread quickly through the high school community, causing disruption at the high school.
On the morning of November 5th, EHS Administration was made aware of a racially insensitive and inappropriate social media post that was sent off campus by one student to others via the social media platform, Snapchat. The post quickly spread via social media throughout the school day. Many in our education community were rightfully and justifiably offended by the post. High school administration and staff swiftly addressed the disruptive behavior throughout the day and worked diligently to manage and dissipate the disruption.
After school was dismissed, high school administrators were notified of rumors of potential safety threats to Edwardsville High School. These concerns were immediately reported to the Edwardsville Police Department. Through coordinated efforts with the police department, it was determined that no creditable or viable threat to the high school or any other school within the District existed. Nevertheless, the District worked with the police department to arrange and provide heightened security at the high school this morning. With appreciation and gratitude, we can report that the school day is off to a good and safe start. Furthermore, additional supports such as school counselors and administrators are available to discuss these issues with students and provide positive conflict resolution in the event it becomes necessary.
This morning, Dr. Cramsey began the school day by delivering a message to all students, which focused on the disruption that took place yesterday as well as discussing how the school will move forward. The main point of Dr. Cramsey’s message was that racism in any form will not be tolerated at Edwardsville High School. Dr. Cramsey’s message is available on the Edwardsville High School Facebook Page. The Board of Education and I would like take Dr. Cramsey’s message one step further and say that racism in any form will not be tolerated in any District 7 school.
Please note that the students involved in yesterday’s disruptive behavior are being addressed through the Board’s student discipline policy. Because of the sensitivity and confidentiality of student information, the District will not further comment on any of the specific student misconduct and/or consequences. However, it is important to note that all incidents are being handled appropriately by the high school administration and all board policies and procedures are being implemented accordingly.
Moving forward, the District is committed to developing strategies and activities that will proactively educate on racism and its potential effects. I have been in contact with our community leaders, including the Board of Education, Chief of Edwardsville Police and a representative from the NAACP about ways we can work in partnership with our community to promote positive relationships between all individuals in our schools. At the next Board of Education Meeting, I will be proposing to the Board the idea of forming an Equity Task Force that will include members of the Board of Education, administration, faculty, community members, parents and most importantly, students. We want to place great emphasis on accepting diversity in all situations and environments.
As we move forward, we will keep the community and the news media informed and involved in all of these activities and are open to any suggestions as to how we continue to grow our students into responsible citizens. We ask that the community and the media have patience with the District as we explore all avenues to address inclusivity and the disruptive nature of irresponsible use of social media in our schools."