Hateful Instagram account linked to SoCal teens
POINT LOMA — Extra police will be stationed at Point Loma High School for the remainder of the school year, and school officials will talk to junior ROTC cadets about tolerance and cyberbullying after hate speech was found posted on an Instagram account linked to students.
The account, which was created in March, was closed after it was brought it to the attention of school officials, the FBI and the anti-Defamation League of San Diego last weekend. A second, “copycat” account was created by another student this week before it, too, was shut down.
Some Point Loma residents, already on edge after three homes were tagged with swastikas in late May, were alarmed to learn of the accounts, which included memes of guns and ammunition, talk of a school militia, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim messages.
The troubling social media posts were discovered less than two weeks after retaining walls on three homes on Santa Barbara Street in the Point Loma Heights area were tagged with swastikas drawn in blue chalk.
Police have made no arrests in the case. A school district spokeswoman said the Instagram accounts and vandalism were not thought to be related.
Screenshots of the Instagram account show posts depicting a swastika and the Dr. Seuss character the Lorax with the quote, “The trees say six million wasn’t enough,” and one saying that America needs to shut down mosques and ban Islam. Another asked Point Loma High students if they “would like to join the militia.”
Point Loma High School Principal Hans Becker said he talked to about 10 students while investigating the hate speech — those who he thought might know something about the account and those who felt they were victims of bullying. He said he quickly identified those involved.
In an email sent to parents Monday, Becker said he could not discuss student discipline but urged parents to talk with children about the importance of showing respect to others.