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‘White Girls Club’ at Franklin H.S. – Racism or Just a Joke? [POLL]

Flickr user: hpeguk
Flickr user: hpeguk

I guess maybe because you see a posting saying there’s a “white girls club”; you automatically go into “racist” mode and think the worst.

Problem is this:

While I think something like this may have started out as a joke, albeit a weird one, it stirs up plenty of dopey comments on social media.

And given the ubiquity of social media, the “joke” then becomes serious, and encourages others to post racially insensitive comments and photos.

Which is what’s happening, according to this:

Members of a “White Girls Club” started at Franklin High School, and their supporters, have posted a series of racially offensive comments and photos on social media sites, according to one student and parent who question if the club members have violated the school’s anti-bullying policy.

A series of Twitter screen shots posted by the students and sent to the Home News Tribune feature students in photos holding up three fingers creating the letter “W” apparently as a symbol for “white” with the hash tag “wgc.”

One girl retweeted a tweet sent out by a boy that says “the hallways in the high school” and then features a Twitter photo of a large group of monkeys or chimpanzees. That same boy sent out a photo of the Confederate flag hanging on a wall in what appears to be the bleachers in a gym with the hash tag “south will rise again.”

Another post by that same boy said “I’m prepared to wave this flag around in a gym full of 1,000 screaming black people.”
The boy’s tweets indicate he may have been suspended.

Mary L. Clark, Franklin Public Schools coordinator of policies and regulations said about the club member’s postings that the district has a harassment, intimidation and bullying policy in line with state guidelines. She said if something happens off school grounds and it impacts students in school it can fall under the policy.

“It’s very offensive what they have done,” said the parent of a student who notified the newspaper about the Twitter posts. The Home News Tribune has chosen not to publish the student’s or the parent’s name. “When my child showed me, I was shocked. I want it to stop.”

The Franklin High School student said a group of students formed the club in the beginning of the school year. The club is not sanctioned by the school.

On March 14 when the school celebrates Pi Day, the mathematics symbol, club members made T-shirts that stated “White Girls Club celebrates Pi Day.” Some students were offended and reported the incident to school officials.

A mother with children in the high school, who asked that her name not be used, said the club members received permission from their teachers to wear the T-shirts. The mother said she understands black students also are members of the club.

“I’m not very happy right now. I think the White Girls Club has gotten out of hand,” said the mother, adding the club was started by eight students who are friends, as a joke.

When one boy commented that the postings may be cyberbullying and should be stopped, a member of the “White Girls Club” responded by saying it wasn’t his business and to stay out of it.

Another Franklin High School club member commented the club members aren’t offending anyone and tells others to “stfu.”

When another girl commented that the postings were offending people, a club member responded that they weren’t offending anyone.

“You’re choosing to take offense to statements that weren’t about you in the first place,” a club member responded.

So maybe the “White Girls Club” really isn’t a club at all, but just a group of kids thinking they’re having some harmless fun.

But even if the remarks being made aren’t being directed at anyone in particular, it’s still not “harmless”.

Especially when it brings out the worst in students who then take to the internet to provoke others.

And that’s the problem in a nutshell.

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