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White HS principal framed by black colleague with AI-generated racist comments

A white Baltimore County Public Schools principal accused earlier this year of denigrating black students and Jewish families is now in the clear.

After a months-long investigation, it was revealed that Pikesville High School Athletic Director Dazhon Darien, who’s black, had used an AI-generated voice of the principal, Eric Eiswert, making the (bogus) remarks.

According to WBAL-11, law enforcement believes Darien made the recording in retaliation for Eiswert looking into his “potential mishandling” of school funds.

In January when the recording hit the news and social media, Superintendent Myriam Rogers said it was “deeply disturbing” and added the district would “not tolerate disparaging remarks about any member of the Team BCPS community.”

Rogers noted at the time the district could not “confirm the veracity” of the recording but was working to do so. Eiswert was temporarily suspended, and the school was subjected to numerous “many hate-filled messages.”

Commenters on X, formerly Twitter, had demanded Eiswert’s dismissal. Posts said the principal “should’ve been let go on the spot,” “he better be gone soon,” and “no way any parent or teacher can have any confidence in him from here on out. He will resign or be canned.”

However, at least one commenter was prescient:

From the beginning, Eiswert maintained his innocence and told investigators “he had an idea of who was behind” the recording. He said Darien had had a “grievance” about his “contract not being renewed” and “work-performance issues” such as firing a coach without official approval and “paying teachers under the table for helping him with his job.”

MORE: School district’s third race hoax in the last year shows racism isn’t really a problem

Documents show Eiswert also had noted Darien was “tech-savvy” and “familiar with AI.”

From the story:

Police said Thursday afternoon that detectives have conclusive evidence based on a forensic analysis by the FBI that the recording was not authentic. Police said the analysis indicated the recording contained traces of AI-generated content. Detectives then sought an additional analysis by the University of California, Berkley, which arrived at the same findings as the FBI’s analysis. …

Police said Darien had used the school network to search for AI tools. While Darien originally denied involvement, police have since connected an email address that sent out the audio clip to Darien’s grandmother’s home in Los Angeles that has a recovery phone number being Darien’s own cellphone.

Police said the audio clip was originally sent to a friend group of three teachers. One of the educators admitted to police she sent the clip to news outlets and a student who she knew would spread the clip.

Darien was taken into custody on Thursday while boarding a flight to Houston. Police wouldn’t say if he was trying to escape the jurisdiction, but did note he was in possession of a firearm.

MORE: Black student admits to writing racist graffiti in high school bathrooms

IMAGE: Christian Horz/Shutterstock.com

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