Oregon City School District investigating racist message on Instagram
An Oregon City High School student has exposed a racist message he says a classmate posted on Instagram.
Now the school district says it's investigating.
Oregon City High School has dealt with several racially-charged incidents in recent years.
The social media post includes disturbing language like the N-word and multiple obscenities.
Michael Clark, a spokesman for the Oregon City School District, said via email, "This message does not represent the inclusive and welcoming school culture to which we aspire."
On Monday night, Eric Diaz, a senior at Oregon City High School, told KATU he was scrolling through his Twitter feed when he noticed a classmate posted a shocking tweet. It contained screengrabs of an Instagram post reportedly put up by a user claiming to be an Oregon City High School student.
"Us students take this seriously. A lot of kids, a lot of good kids will call this out," said Diaz. "I decided to speak out on it on social media and let everyone know that’s not what Oregon City High School is all about.”
The Instagram post says in part:
"These (N-words) can't even confront about anything to my face. All they are gonna do is hide behind there (sic) teachers so they can get me expelled. They also tell all there (sic) (N-word) friends to put death threats on me. It's not our f***ing fault Africa sold you guys out. So the (N-words) can come to the U.S. and pick cotton and s**t."
"It's unfortunate that this has been going on," said Diaz. "There are people who are not willing to embrace diversity. There are people who aren't willing to allow themselves to respect each other's differences."
Clark sent KATU a statement saying in part:
"Any student posting a message like this on social media has violated the student code of conduct and is subject to disciplinary action. ... School administrators are investigating and will work with the students involved to make the situation a teachable moment by facilitating efforts to repair the pain caused by these actions and words."
"People in power can talk as much as they want," Diaz said after seeing the district statement, "but what matters at the end of the day is the actions."
Last month, Wayne Harris, the African-American head football coach at Gladstone High School, said he and his children found racist stickers along Meyers Road near Oregon City High School.
Most of them read, "It's okay to be white."
"I just saw the reaction in my son's face, my daughter's face, and so then I kind of went into parent mode, so I think it kind of bothered them a little bit more than it did me," Harris told KATU.
He and a neighbor tore off the stickers.
Diaz remembers participating in the protest.
"It was really powerful seeing the whole school become united and be united," he said, "and basically rejecting the hate that goes around at our school. That's not tolerated at all."
Clark said the district doesn't believe the stickers found on Meyers Road are related to the latest incident.
The following is the complete statement he released on behalf of the Oregon City School District on Tuesday:
"This message does not represent the inclusive and welcoming school culture to which we aspire. Any student posting a message like this on social media has violated the student code of conduct and is subject to disciplinary action.
We are proud of our students for immediately reporting this offensive message to school leadership. School administrators are investigating and will work with the students involved to make the situation a teachable moment by facilitating efforts to repair the pain caused by these actions and words."