The principal of Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Va., announced on Tuesday that the school’s cybersecurity team shut down an Instagram account created by one of the school’s students who used it to ” harass and bully” LGBTQ students at the school.
Principal Daniel W. Smith’s announcement came hours after the Pride Liberation Project, an LGBTQ group run by Fairfax County public school students, issued a press release saying the Instagram site had appeared one day. earlier, March 7.
“On Monday, an Instagram account surfaced that spoke out, attacked, and used slurs against LGBTQIA+ students at Lake Braddock High School,” according to the Pride Liberation Project press release. “Although the account has since been deleted, it has – and continues to – foster an unsafe school environment for LGBTQIA+ students,” the group said.
“We were able to work with our cybersecurity team to have the account shut down and have identified the student responsible,” Smith said in a letter to the Lake Braddock Middle School community. “Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken consistent with the rights and responsibilities of Fairfax Public Schools students,” he wrote.
“I am deeply troubled that a student at Lake Braddock thinks this is acceptable behavior,” Smith said in his letter. “That’s not the kind of school community we seek to cultivate. Our shared vision at Lake Braddock emphasizes our commitment to developing students’ understanding of self and community by emphasizing responsibility, service, empathy, social-emotional learning, equity and inclusion,” Smith said.
The school’s website says it enrolls students in grades 7 through 12.
The Pride Liberation Project has posted several screenshots taken by its members of the Instagram account. One of the screenshots appears to show the site’s homepage, which identifies itself as “lbsshomos” and “Comedian”.
« The official gay Instagram page at lbss [Lake Braddock Secondary School]“says a message on the site. “Owned and operated by the Lake Braddock Gimmick Association,” the post continues. “Pronouns: Attack/Helicopter,” he said.
Another screenshot released by the Pride Liberation Project includes photos of three young people the group says are Lake Braddock students who appear to be walking inside the school. The group masked the students’ faces, saying they did so to protect their anonymity.
“Given that this harassment has coincided with an increase in anti-Queer politics across the country, it is imperative that the FCPS leadership take strong action immediately,” the group states in its press release.
Principal Smith did not disclose the name of the student identified as the one who created the Instagram account or the specific action the school will take against the student.
“Every student at Lake Braddock has the right to feel safe and respected,” he said in his letter. “I’m meeting with members of our LGBTQIA+ student groups this week to listen, learn, and continue the dialogue around their experiences in our school community.”