Oregon School District officials are remaining mostly silent about an alleged incident at Oregon High School last month that prompted social media complaints about student racism.
The incident involved an OHS health class baby mannequin used to teach students about child care, though there is disagreement over what exactly happened.
Superintendent Brian Busler said Tuesday district officials are “limited on what we can share because its a discipline matter,” citing state and federal privacy laws.
“We can’t share any specifics on the incident, although, I can share that we address each and every student-related matter in accordance with the student handbook,” he said. “It is common for social media information to be inaccurate.”
The Observer was made aware of the matter March 25 when its Twitter account was tagged in a tweet responding to a message from former student Taylor King (@_taylorkiing) about an alleged incident at OHS that read, “I know I graduated but 3 boys at OHS hung an African American health baby in the boys bathroom, they got suspended for 3 DAYS.... Twitter please do your thing.”
Later that day, another tweet was posted in response, “You don’t know the whole story so keep your opinion to yourself. It was 1 person, they served a week suspension and ticket. (Five) other people got suspended for doing absolutely nothing but we served it because we know we messed up about not doing anything.”
Another tweet from that day read, “Definitely not something that makes me proud to be an alum @PanthersOHS. Blatant hatred and racism definitely deserve a harsher punishment than a mere 3 day suspension.”
On April 3, a tweet from OHS student Andrew Pasnecker read, “Actually it wasn’t in the bathroom. I did it and am ashamed of it. It doesn’t define me and I’m putting it my past. I wasn’t trying to be malicious but that doesn’t excuse my actions. I wouldn’t consider myself racist. One drink doesn’t make someone an alcoholic.”
Busler said OHS principal Jim Pliner and OHS athletic director Mike Carr “conducted an investigation, and they met with all the students and staff that were involved.”
“When something comes to their attention, they investigate it thoroughly and swiftly,” he said. “If there’s a student-related discipline associated with an incident, we take care of it right away.”