A Washington school district is reeling after a school board meeting led by a black school superintendent was interrupted by virtual attendees – one showing an image of George Floyd as a transcript The sound of repeating racial slurs is played.
Police in Enumclaw, a city about 50 miles southeast of Seattle, are currently investigating the November 22 “deeply disturbing” incident of what is commonly known as a possible “exaggerated bombing.” is a hate crime, The department said in a statement on Wednesday.
Two Zoom attendees disrupted the combined face-to-face and virtual meeting by repeating racial slurs, Enumclaw School District said in a statement. One of the individuals included in their frame an image of Floyd, whose killing by a Minneapolis police officer last year led to nationwide protests demanding accountability and reform. police. The other appeared to be an elderly white male, the district said.
The district said it is coordinating with police investigations, which have identified two IP addresses in connection with the incident. District officials added in the statement that those attending virtual school board meetings will now only be allowed to view the meeting and those wishing to comment publicly must attend in person.
“Let’s be clear, hate has no home here,” the statement said.
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The incident at Enumclaw was just the latest in a surge of disruptive behavior at school board meetings across the country as anger flared over debates over precautions. pandemic, racism and critical racial theory. Once quiet, low-attendance public meetings became the focus of tense, sometimes violent clashes as angry mobs, assaults and arrests became increasingly common.
Just last month, someone interrupted the California school district equity committee’s online meeting by shouting racially insolently and displaying sexually explicit images, The San Francisco Chronicle reported it. In a separate incident, two people hurled comments about minorities and anti-Semitism at a Pennsylvania school district meeting, according to reports. morning call.
The National Association of School Boards has said unruly behavior, including death threats directed at school board members, has sometimes has grown into a form of domestic terrorism. In an October letter to the administration of President Joe Biden, the group requested a federal investigation and help from the FBI to maintain the safety of school board members and school officials. learning area.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in October ordered FBI to address “disturbing trends” in threats of violence against school officials and teachers.
Bomb launch, which refers to hacking and disrupting online video meetings that often use pornography or hate speech, has also become a concern as public meetings become virtual in the context of the pandemic. Translate. During the pandemic, racist Zoom bombing attacks targeted Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings, PhD thesis defense, Storytelling events for kids, district meetings, poetry workshop, Black History Month Events and more.
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The November 22 magnified bombing in Enumclaw shook the community and school district superintendent Shaun Carey, who told residents in a letter that while this was not the first experience of racism he has faced, it left him “insecure and frustrated.” He said the words and images the Zoom bombers used “aimed at degrading people of color.”
Enumclaw City Council and Mayor Jan Molinaro said in a statement The “terrifying incident” marked “a day of mourning in our city,” adding that “some of our town’s pride died” that day.
“If we in this community don’t denounce what happened … what will all our children continue to think? What will pass?” the statement said. “It’s time to put an end to this hate speech and set an example of strength and solidarity.”