LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The DeWitt Public Schools has temporarily shut down its social media channels because of a flood of “inappropriate tagging, inappropriate comments, threats, and name-calling.”
The district notified the community on its website Tuesday, saying the attacks had been in response to a former employee’s personal social media post.
“In response to the apparent threats, we immediately contacted law enforcement and have temporarily deactivated our social media accounts while police investigate,” the statement reads in part.
At DeWitt Public Schools, we strive to create a culture of excellence in everything we do. This means fostering respect, civility, compassion, and understanding. We oppose harassment, intimidation, bullying, or threatening behavior of any kind, whether it occurs on school property or on social media.
Recently, we became aware that our school social media accounts became the target of inappropriate tagging, inappropriate comments, threats, and name-calling in reaction to a former employee’s personal post on a social media platform.DeWitt Public Schools statement on temporary suspension of district’s social media accounts
Many of these comments appear to have originated outside our district and, in some cases, from other states. In response to the apparent threats, we immediately contacted law enforcement and have temporarily deactivated our social media accounts while police investigate.
We apologize for any inconvenience that may cause, and we believe this will be a temporary situation. Given the volume and nature of the unacceptable conduct and inappropriate comments being made, we determined this was the best course of action to promote a safe and respectful environment for dialogue regarding school matters.
Sadly, many other public schools have become targets for these kinds of attacks. We recognize that our students, staff, parents, and community members may sometimes disagree with each other, even passionately. This is all part of a healthy school environment.
However, when these disagreements turn threatening or involve name-calling or the use of hateful speech, we have an obligation to intervene, which is consistent with our school policies, values, and mission.
We understand the importance of maintaining a positive and respectful online environment for our community and will provide updates on this situation as they become available.
We are committed to resolving this matter as quickly as possible. We will remain focused on providing a world-class education for our students in a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment.