Photoshopped images outrage parents, draw discipline at Tri-State middle school

Parents showed up at a tense board meeting on Monday to sound off on the pictures.
School board meeting gets headed while discussing diversity and inclusion
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 10:44 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Forest Hills School District recently disciplined several students after it says offensive images surfaced on social media.

The incidents involve students at Nagel Middle School.

The images purportedly included a Jewish student’s head photoshopped onto an image of a person who died in the Holocaust.

Another student is accused of photoshopping a picture of a female student with Down syndrome to include a mustache meant to resemble Adolf Hitler’s. The latter image was posted on SnapChat.

The district responded after several students reported the pictures to school officials. A district statement reads:

“Earlier this month, several students reported a group chat to administrators at Nagel Middle School. Administrators immediately launched a thorough investigation. All of the students involved in this incident were identified and their parents were notified. Discipline has been issued to those involved in the group chat. The parents of any students mentioned in the messages were notified and offered ongoing support through the staff at NMS.”

The district did not reveal how the students were disciplined.

Parents showed up at a tense meeting of the Forest Hills Schools Board of Education on Monday to sound off on the pictures.

“These people who are nice to her face are backstabbing her and not making her feel welcome,” Elyn Buscani, a mother of three students in the district, said of the second photoshopped image.

Heather Haas, whose son goes to Nagel Middle School, added, “I was livid. I was beyond upset.”

Forest Hills School District Superintendent Scot Prebles said in the meeting the board will seek experts outside the district to help its CARE Team improve various issues of tolerance at the school, particularly after more than one student’s recent death by suicide.

The CARE Team, which predates Monday’s meeting, is dedicated to improving inclusion and diversity, as well as making sure all students are comfortable.

The meeting’s other topic of discussion was critical race theory, which the district insists it does not teach.

CRT is a learning paradigm that seeks to draw attention to the presence of systemic biases in a variety of subjects.

Protesters gathered outside the meeting on Monday decried it as “racist” and “Marxist,” echoing verbatim the stances of conservative leaders who have sought to make CRT a cultural wedge issue.

Board members stressed the district does not intend to adopt CRT principles.

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