Jordan School District investigating racist Instagram account
WEST JORDAN – The Jordan School District is trying to find the person who created an Instagram account using racial slurs to describe African-American students of Sunset Ridge Middle School. Educators said this account is just one of many problematic social media pages they deal with, and they just can’t keep up with the online trolls.
Officials with the Jordan School District said they’ve seen the Instagram account that supposedly shows pictures of the students while using a misspelled version of the n-word to describe them.
“The content is upsetting, inappropriate and not something we condone or tolerate in any way in the Jordan School District,” according to JSD Spokesperson Sandy Reisgraf.
She said the district has been working as hard as they can to track down the user. They’ve brought in their IT department to follow any leads and to see if any district-issued equipment can be connected to the page. They’ve even called law enforcement to investigate.
“We’ve used everything at our disposal to try to track down who this might be, including looking at who is following this account and who is on this account,” Reisgraf said.
However, so far, no luck. For now, Resigraf said they have no idea who is behind that account, whether they be a student or not. Whether it was intended to be a joke, or not, she said the page is blatant and obvious racism and they’ll keep trying to find their culprit.
Resigraf said, “We’re doing all we can to identify anyone who is responsible or involved with this page and we will continue to investigate.
She also said they’ve reported this account for its racist content to Instagram on multiple occasions. However, they have yet to get any response from the social media platform.
“We’re just asking Instagram, please work with us and take this page down,” she said.
Too many pages to keep up with
Other educators said even if that account was shut down, the culprit would likely replace it with another questionable page. Granite School District Spokesman Ben Horsley said they have no power close a social media page and they can only hope the platforms will act quickly to close problematic accounts. However, that rarely happens Horsley said.
“Usually, if it’s just us reporting the account… nothing,” he said.
He estimates they report two dozen problematic social media accounts every day, adding that students have made accounts to make fun of their classmates over many different things. Officials have seen accounts made to target students over things like their hair, their shoes and how badly they park. Horsley said educators don’t have a magic wand to find and tag every potentially offensive page, so parents need to watch their child’s online activity.
“The people who are promulgating these accounts clearly have unfiltered access to social media in ways that they can create this content and perpetrate bullying and cyberbullying on other individuals,” Horsley said.
District officials often invite parents to workshops on social media safety, and many of those parents don’t know how to use the online platforms their kids are using.
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