The superintendents of Harrisburg and Central Dauphin school districts have called for unity and calm after a racist social media post incited anger ahead of a matchup between the districts’ high school football teams Saturday.
A picture published on Instagram shows a girl holding a sign which says “You stupid n….” with a heart next to it. The girl is with a group of smiling girls in an SUV or van, and one of them is wearing a CD shirt.
The photo, condemned by students, parents and district officials Wednesday, is circulating on social media, although the original post has reportedly been deleted.
Central Dauphin High School’s football team plays an away game at Harrisburg High School as Harrisburg celebrates its Homecoming Saturday afternoon.
Harrisburg High School Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney and Central Dauphin Superintendent Carol Johnson released the following joint statement Wednesday afternoon:
“The posting of offensive statements to social media by some Central Dauphin High School students has caused anger and outrage throughout both of our school districts and communities. As leaders, we are both committed to restoring unity in this time of conflict and divisiveness. Harrisburg High School will celebrate its homecoming festivities on Saturday, welcoming home many alumni and members of the community. They will play the Central Dauphin High School football team that afternoon. We ask that fans and spectators of both schools remain respectful throughout the day and join in the spirit of unity and good sportsmanship.”
Central Dauphin issued the following statement earlier Wednesday:
“The Central Dauphin School District is aware of the offensive racist post on social media by students who attend Central Dauphin High School. First and foremost, this type of speech and behavior contradicts the principles and core beliefs of equity, humanity, and dignity that we try to teach our students. We have begun an investigation to determine the facts of the case and the appropriate disciplinary response.”
Some of the students reportedly involved have posted apologies on social media.