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Crown Point, Lake Central officials condemn 'disgusting' 'white student union' Instagram accounts
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Crown Point, Lake Central officials condemn 'disgusting' 'white student union' Instagram accounts

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Crown Point, Lake Central officials condemn 'disgusting' 'white student union' Instagram accounts

A screen capture shows a now-deleted Instagram account, wsuoflchs, which promoted a white student union at Lake Central High School. Lake Central administrators said Wednesday the account "is completely inconsistent with our core values and beliefs and we are sickened by its very existence." 

This week, two accounts claiming to be “white student unions” at Crown Point and Lake Central high schools cropped up on social media, claiming to “provide equality for the students.” The accounts, which have been deleted, drew criticism from school leaders on Wednesday.

Lake Central School Corp. Superintendent Larry Veracco said in a statement administrators were made aware of the “extremely offensive Instagram account” on Monday.

While the account has been deleted, a screenshot of the Instagram profile from Wednesday morning shows six posts, with language including, “White lives matter most.”

Veracco called the posts on the social media page “disgusting.”

“As soon as we were made aware of the posts, school resource officers and local police department personnel were pulled in to help us determine who originated the account as quickly as possible,” Veracco said in an emailed statement to Lake Central families.

“LCHS administration also immediately contacted Instagram and reported it as a hate group, requesting the immediate removal of the account.”

Veracco said students, faculty and community members with Instagram accounts were asked to report the account, noting Instagram “did not respond or act on our multiple requests.”

Although the profile initially used the Lake Central High School logo, Veracco said the account was created by students who aren’t enrolled in Lake Central schools and don’t live in the Tri-Town area.

“We want to make it clear that the offensive content on this page is completely inconsistent with our core values and beliefs and we are sickened by its very existence,” Veracco said.

More than 12,000 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19 since March 2020. There are real names, faces and human stories behind that staggering number. This Sunday, The Times partners with 11 Indiana news agencies to share the stories of dozens of “Hoosiers We’ve Lost” in a special print section and online presentation. Watch for it Sunday.

While school officials are glad the account wasn’t created by students in the district, Veracco acknowledged district still has “plenty of work to do in order to make Lake Central the kinder and gentler community of schools that we want to become.”

“Even though none of our students were responsible, we hope that meaningful conversations still take place at school and at home about the need to keep any type of hate or harassing speech out of our schools,” he said. “In addition to consuming valuable resources from both school and law enforcement agencies, this type of activity disrupts our students and staff from focusing on teaching and learning as we aim to help all students achieve their personal best.”

{h4}‘Racist and homophobic content’{/h4} In a statement issued Wednesday, the Crown Point Community School Corp. said officials received reports of a similar Instagram account, which promoted a white student union group at Crown Point High School.

“It was clear that the accounts contained racist and homophobic content. An investigation into the origins of the account began immediately,” Crown Point Superintendent Todd Terrill said in a statement.

“Hate has no place in our schools. We are taking this issue very seriously. Every student in our district should feel safe, welcomed, and supported.”

Terrill emphasized Crown Point High School is not affiliated with the since-deleted account, nor its contents.

Brooke Allen, the district’s director of communications, told The Times there is no evidence showing the account was created by a Crown Point student.

In a message to Crown Point High School parents, Crown Point High School Principal Russ Marcinek said after he was made aware of the account, he directed Allen to report it, and asked others to do the same.

“The account has made racist and inappropriate posts that are in complete contrast to our core values and what we stand for at CPHS,” Marcinek said in the statement. “CPHS is not affiliated with this page in any way. A similar page was also created in the name of Lake Central. The source of the account has asked Crown Point students to follow the page.”

Marcinek said school officials are working with the Crown Point Police Department to determine the creator of the account.

“Our school has students from every corner of the globe and every walk of life. We have (navigated) a pandemic and worked together with our community to provide the best possible education for our students,” Marcinek said.

“Our students, teachers, staff, and parents have dedicated their very being to this school and community. We have a proud alumni base that has gone on to become true leaders and professionals. This is what CPHS is and that is what we value. We will not allow individuals to spew hate in our name. That is not who we are.”

{h3}Gallery: COVID-19: Hoosiers We’ve Lost

{/h3}

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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