Faculty share reactions to threat

The Newtonite

by Amanda Hills
During the week of Transgender Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Day, which was on Wednesday, March 7, a student at this school posted a threatening statement on Facebook, according to principal Jennifer Price.
Concerned students notified vice principal Deborah Holman and Price, according to Holman.
She said that she was “proud of the students who very maturely brought it to our attention.”
After hearing about the incident, Holman said that she thought that the Facebook post “warranted a fair investigation by administrators and police.”
Price said that the school administration worked with the student’s family as well as with the police, the City law department and the superintendent’s office in order to handle the situation.
The student has since apologized for his statement, and Price said that she feels confident that he has learned from his mistake.
This incident also brings up the issue of censoring what one publishes online, and that people must take into account how a post may be perceived by others. Holman said, “Light, joking comments written large on a Facebook page can be alarming to a community.”
And, she added that certain comments can “impact a student’s life and reputation,” which also must be considered before posting something online.
However, Holman said that students must allow one another a second chance to grow.
Price echoed that, saying that she hopes students will properly handle this situation and will “make amends and move forward.”
Math teacher Janice Lichtman, a former Gay Straight Alliance adviser, said that she has “a lot of respect for how the situation was handled.” She thinks that the student “should understand the impact of what he said, but be reintegrated into the community. Ostracizing him does no good.”
Lichtman also commented that it is important to evaluate the situation as a “community and society,” and consider what “the context is for someone making comments like that and thinking it’s okay.” She continued, “It’s about both taking seriously the individual person’s actions and also looking at ourselves.”