CT: ANTI-MUSLIM SLURS: WEB WORDS PROMPT SCHOOL TALK
“Anti-Muslim” entries on an Internet social networking site used by millions of young people nationwide earned a group of Ridgefield High School students a frank talk with a flotilla of school administrators.
“We’re concerned about it,” said Ridgefield High School Principal Jeff Jaslow.
“There were certainly some pejoratives directed at the Islamic religion and Muslims,” he said.
Mr. Jaslow declined to relate exactly what was said in the troubling entries on a Web page posted on the social networking site Facebook.com.
The offensive content was “something to the effect of the best way to deal with the Middle East is to nuke it. That’s not the exact wording of it. Then there’s just some lewd kind of stuff,” Mr. Jaslow said.
He also said, “There were some jingoistic aspects to some of the comments.”
Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Freeston said the school administration had been alerted to the postings on a “Facebook” Web network page by a user who was offended.
“We heard from a college-age student in the Midwest, a concern that there was a ‘Facebook’ entry with anti-Muslim sentiment and the people who made the entry identified themselves as RHS students,” Dr. Freeston said.
Mr. Jaslow said he and four other administrators had a talk with the 10 students who they could determine were involved.
“It went well. I think it was an important conversation to have,” Mr. Jaslow said.
“We informed the students that we had been notified by people outside the school district that they were concerned with what they’d seen on the site. And we in turn were concerned that there was any association of the high school with this group on Facebook and also expressed concern about how it might impact the students down the road,” he said.
“We informed them of the fact that college admission officers and prospective employers do access these sites to see if any prospective candidate for admission or for a job have participated in anything along these lines, or just to get a better handle on the kind of people they’re considering, and that the students really need to consider the type of impact it might have along those lines.”