A fledgling Instagram account has been set up where students and educators can anonymously relate anecdotes of racism they encountered in Delaware’s private and parochial schools.
WDEL, one of Delaware’s largest radio stations, said it was keeping “further details” of the man’s identity secret due to threats he, and those who have submitted stories, have received.
The account’s founder said he “tr[ies] to substantiate every story that’s submitted and published.” He modeled the account after Black Mainline Speaks, which tells stories of the black community in Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line region.
“The focus of the page is to give voices to the marginalized and to amplify the voices of people who normally would not be able to say anything at all, so we do want to get these stories out in an uncensored fashion,” the founder said.
Stories include black students at a Catholic school being blamed by a teacher for throwing pencils into the ceiling (when white kids were the real culprits), and a “proud, gay Asian student” at the Delaware’s top charter school being mocked for his ethnicity (which is strange considering Asians make up a third of the school’s population, some eight times greater than Delaware’s schools in general).
Another story told of white students “flaunting” doctors’ notes which allowed them to skip the school’s “Diversity Day.”
WDEL notes some schools “made public statements to show their support” for the Instagram page, but an “internal communication” it obtained shows the Catholic Dioceses of Wilmington is not happy about it:
“You may wish to go on record as reporting libelous statements about particular persons mentioned in these posts to the Office of the Attorney General and to the police,” said Lou DeAngelo, the superintendent of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Schools. “Also, you may wish to remind students and their parents about your school’s policies related to their responsibility as representatives of your school and the appropriate use of technology. I am sorry we have one more issue to address among other challenges before us.”
The page founder says no personal information on the page will be revealed unless someone decides to name an individual in his/her story, and then only if “any legal ramifications [are] taken” by a party such as slander or libel.
He adds his page “tr[ies] to substantiate every story that’s submitted and published” (emphasis added).