Comal Independent School District and Judson Independent School District officials are looking into a social media incident that took place Thursday evening and Friday morning.
A “selfie” photo of some Smithson Valley High School football players was posted on social media Thursday evening, and Comal ISD staff was alerted the post allegedly contained a racial slur about Judson High School.
Students in the photo said their photograph was taken and reposted by someone else with the profane language added, Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim said in a statement released to parents on Friday morning.
“(The students) have provided their original social media post, which does not include the derogatory remarks, as evidence,” Kim said.
Comal ISD director of communications Steve Stanford said Comal ISD personnel started looking into the incident first thing Friday morning, and at this point there is no evidence that authenticates the racist message came from those students.
“(Our students) did post something — the same picture, but the image said something about the game record,” Stanford said. “Right now, there’s no evidence that supports or ties the students to racist language.”
Unfortunately, with social media any photo can be stolen with content added or taken away to create a false narrative, Stanford said.
“Comal ISD is still investigating, and if we find any of our students responsible, we’d discipline them to the fullest extent,” Stanford said. “However at this time there is no evidence of that.”
Judson ISD director of communications Steve Linscomb said Judson ISD received a call from Kim that Comal is investigating to find who is responsible.
“He assured us if it is Comal ISD students, they would be disciplined,” Linscomb said.
Meanwhile, campus police at Judson have been alerted as well and are investigating.
“This could be anyone trying to stir up ill will,” Linscomb said. “We don’t want to jump to any conclusions at this point.”
Linscomb said Judson ISD is messaging all its students and parents heading into Friday’s football game.
“We ask everyone to practice self control and maintain good sportsmanship in this situation — doing anything otherwise wouldn’t go well,” Linscomb said.
In his statement sent out to parents, Kim said any display of abusive and racist language, in particular in connection with one of the campuses, teams, clubs or any school-sanctioned organization will not be tolerated.
However, until evidence is provided that show CISD students are responsible, the district will assume their innocence, Kim said.
“We live in a world today that is dominated by social media and it is harder than ever to determine what is true or real,” Kim said. “Within minutes, someone can take a photograph of anyone and add or take away from that image to produce a false narrative. These are the consequences that we need to be aware of and teach our students.”