Clayton parents, students voice concerns over hate-filled comments made on social media

CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) - Emotions were high at Wednesday's Clayton school board meeting as parents and students took their concerns over the district's handling of a recent case of cyber-bullying straight to the board.

"This situation I think is tragic, it almost looked like it was trying to be swept under the rug" said one Clayton parent.  "You can't do that with this kind of thing" he said.

According to school officials, a group of Clayton High School students created a series of social media posts filled with hateful comments towards Jews and other minorities, even singling out individuals by name.

"For students who cyber-bullied, discriminated against, spoke so hatefully against, other members of the community they will not receive any of my sympathy" read Clayton High senior, Hava Polinsky."  The three people that actually owned the Instagram account were really good friends of mine and I was just completely stunned and shell shocked at how they just portrayed such hate" she said.

High School Principal Dan Gutchewsky sent a letter to parents over the weekend, reading in part, "The students involved have been disciplined for their social media posts, which were hurtful and hateful in nature and directed toward other Clayton students... this type of speech on social media runs counter to everything we believe, will not be tolerated and must be addressed"

While school officials can't comment on the case or the punishments handed out, parents speaking at Wednesday's board meeting don't feel the district did all they could do.

"Our goal is to look at it individually, make sure that we're keeping the students in mind and make sure that what we're doing is  teaching our students how their actions impact others, how to learn from those mistakes and how you going to change your behaviors in the future" said Superintendent Sean Doherty.

The school has reached out to the Anti-Defamation league to collaborate on a plan to move the district forward.