Editorial: Administration should be held accountable for calling out hate speech

Editorial Staff

Several days ago, an Instagram account containing hate speech material towards a Carlmont staff member was discovered. Among its posts include racist and anti-semitic content.

In an email to Scot Scoop, Ralph Crame, Carlmont’s principal said, “We are working to identify the person or persons responsible for the creation of the account. We are working with the local authorities during this investigation and will take appropriate action as soon as we identify who is responsible. At this time, we have been responding to parents and students who have expressed concern about this incident. This is not something we can tolerate as a community and the insensitive acts of a few can have a negative effect on so many.”

While we appreciate the efforts being made by administration to solve the issue, we also feel discouraged by how little communication has been had with the student body as a whole about this issue.

In order to not give the person or persons behind this account a larger platform than they already have, we will not be publishing the name of this account. We recognize that the writing of this editorial will potentially amplify the hateful and incendiary content of this account, we feel the responsibility to speak out.

We condemn not only the content of this account as well as our administration’s silence on this. In order to continue to claim that Carlmont is an inclusive and positive community, administrators must also be held accountable to ensure the safety of students, both physically and virtually. It is encouraging to know that the situation is being dealt with, yet we wish that there were more transparency about the issue. 

As students, as journalists, and as young adults, we know that staying silent in the face of hatred and bigotry means taking the side of these destructive behaviors. Not to mention that this content violates Carlmont’s Student Behavior Policy as well.

The rise of social media has no doubt given those with hateful ideologies a platform. The perpetrators of several recent mass shootings have used social media sites like Gab, 4chan, and 8chan to announce their plans and agendas. What is happening in our community right now is nowhere near this level, but this context is only relevant in order to highlight the danger that bigotry on social media and in real life can have. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, once guided by the principle of free speech, have allowed hate speech to become mainstream, quite possibly the reason for this account referring to its content as “jokes” and “memes.”

We know that the name of the person responsible will not be publicized, and that is OK. We aren’t asking for that.

But what we are asking for is simple: transparency, truth, and accountability.

The student body must be made aware of what the next steps are being taken to respond to this by the adults in charge.

It is not enough for administrators to converse privately and internally about this. Whatever internal dialogue that is happening is undoubtedly essential and necessary, but the lack of external dialogue with the student body is alarming. 

Students can only know that an institution supports them and their interests when that institution is doing everything in its power to meet the needs of the student body.

*This editorial reflects the views of the Scot Scoop editorial board. This editorial was written by Nina Heller.