Social media backlash grows after racially insensitive Halloween post

Posted at 11:59 AM, Oct 30, 2017

Two photos are going viral on social media, after they were taken on Snapchat the weekend before Halloween. One has two local private school students wearing orange jumpsuits with a racially charged caption.

Their respective schools responded in a joint statement.

"We recently learned of a set of photos, one of which includes a Gilman School student and Roland Park Country School student, that contain highly inappropriate captions, and that are spreading fast through social media. As we quickly try to learn the facts, here is what we know:

• The two photographs were taken at different functions and combined together in one social media post.

• The young man shown in the picture with the young lady, is not the same young man who is seen in the single photo bearing the name “Freddie Gray” on his outfit.

• The persons who wrote the captions seen in the pictures are not students at either one of our schools.

• The young man who took the photo of the two minors is not a student at either one of our schools.

• The young man who combined the two photos and posted them on social media is not a student at either one of our schools. Know that we take any situation involving our students seriously, and this is no exception. Please understand that many involved in this situation are minors and we respectfully remind you of this as we work through the details." 

A representative with the Gilman School said disciplinary matters involving students are confidential.

The Freddie Gray photo is of another boy, who social media posts say, went to the Boys' Latin School of Maryland and is now at the College of Charleston.

Boys Latin sent out an email to alumni and families that reads:

Over the weekend, Boys' Latin was identified in connection with a series of images on social media that contained inflammatory language and depicted individuals in costumes, wearing clothing that inmates that worn by inmates in prison. One of these individuals had the name 'Freddie Gray' displayed across his back and was identified as a BL alumnus.

I am deeply troubled that an individual would choose to act in this way, and I am so sorry for any hurt or pain that these actions have caused. Boys' Latin denounces the insensitivity and intolerance depicted by these images. In no way, shape or form will Boys' Latin support or tolerate actions or behaviors that demean or belittle another person, a group of individuals, or the suffering that one may endure.

This morning, I have met both with our students and with our faculty to address these images. This event reminds us of the importance of our commitment to equality and respect and of the need to lead our students to embrace these values. For now, please know that we will continue to lean into important equity, diversity, and inclusivity conversations, to deepen understanding and help our students and community live out our values. Our work around these matters requires consistency and is never complete.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. 

Other social media posts say a female College of Charleston student is to blame for posting both photos on Facebook.

We have reached out to the college and has not received a reply.