UPDATED: Investigation Determines Framingham High Teen Pictured in Social Media Hate Speech Was A Victim

Editor’s Note: Originally posted at 3:48 p.m. Last updated at 6:45 p.m.

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FRAMINGHAM – SOURCE has learned that the social media photo of a white girl posting a racist statement, using the “N-word” was not made by the teen pictured in the photo that circulated over the weekend in Framingham.

An investigation, that involved school leaders, police, and the district attorney’s office, has concluded that the teen’s account was compromised and that the teen pictured in the social media post did not write that racist statement.

“We want to follow up with our school community and the City of Framingham community with regard to the racist comment that was posted on social media last Friday night. The Framingham High School Administration, Framingham Public Schools Office of Equity, Diversity, and Community Development and our School Resource Officers engaged in a thorough investigation of this matter. As a result of this comprehensive investigation, I am writing to inform you that the Framingham High School student who is pictured and named in the social media posting that contained the racist comment did not make this social media post,” said Framingham Superintendent of Schools and Framingham High Principal Carolyn Banach in a joint statement to parents and the school community.

An email is expected to go out to parents and the school community tonight, after it is translated. SOURCE will post when available.

“We have factual information that this student’s social media account was hacked and that the picture and comments were posted to the student’s account by someone else. The student pictured in the post has been completely exonerated in this matter. While Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and state student privacy laws limit our ability to disclose details of the investigation, please note that we have identified the person who is responsible and that appropriate actions and procedures are being taken to address the offense,” said Tremblay & Banach in a statement to parents.

“At this time it is important for us to reflect on haste and judgement in arriving at a conclusion before factual information is gathered. Circumstances are not always what they seem and that is why due process is essential to a fair and unbiased investigation that yields facts. I ask that we come together and support each other with patience, understanding, and forgiveness. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the significant impact that words of hatred, of any type toward anyone, have in our school and in the community.  We honor the inherent dignity of all members of our school community and we thank you for making Framingham High School a pillar of excellence in education,” said Superintendent Tremblay & Principal Banach, in a statement.

“Many students and families have expressed how hurt they were to see such racist and inappropriate language shared over social media. We share in that frustration. Framingham unequivocally stands against any form of hate or discrimination. This act has caused harm across our community affecting an innocent student who was unfairly targeted as well as communities of color who had to confront yet another experience with hate. It is our responsibility to work to rebuild trust and to bring healing to all of those who have been negatively impacted by this incident. We are committed to doing this work,” said Superintendent Tremblay and Principal Banach in a statement.

The news report posted on SOURCE this past weekend stated that the girl told school leaders she did not make that statement.

There is the possibility an arrest could be made in this case too. SOURCE has not confirmed that yet.

Editor’s Note: SOURCE chose not to post the photo in its original reporting of the incident over the weekend, as it identified the student, who is a victim now, according to the investigation.

“There is no place for hatred in our school community.  We condemn all acts of racism, bigotry, and hatred. Framingham High School is rich in diversity and it is a privilege to teach and learn in our strong and vibrant school community,” said Principal Banach on Monday.

“To support our student community in processing the impact of this incident, I will be meeting privately with students over the next week to bring some understanding and healing to our community. Students who are interested in sharing their thoughts are encouraged to reach out to me. For students who prefer to speak one-on-one with a staff member, our school guidance team is available to provide support,” said Principal Banach,

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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