The students of Charlottesville, Virginia, will remain home from school for the second day in a row following a racist threat made against African-Americans and minority students.
In an effort to protect the safety of students and staff, all public schools in the area were closed Thursday and Friday as law enforcement investigates the threat. The threat was originally made online via the website 4chan, where users can post and share anonymously. Although the specific phrasing of the threat has not been publicly released, police determined that it was serious enough to keep all students in the area out of school, according to NBC.
Police say that the original threat was specifically targeting the minority students of Charlottesville High School and that the author of the post warned white students to stay home if they wanted to avoid danger. At this time, law enforcement is still working to determine the credibility of this threat, as well as the specific person who may have written it. The district publicly condemned all forms of racism, hate, and intolerance in a recent Facebook post.
“We would like to acknowledge and condemn the fact that this threat was racially charged. We do not tolerate hate or racism. The entire staff and School Board stand in solidarity with our students of color — and with people who have been singled out for reasons such as religion or ethnicity or sexual identity in other vile threats made across the country or around the world.”
Charlottesville schools also took to Facebook on Thursday night to explain their reasoning for keeping the schools closed another day.
“We heard clearly that you, too, want us to prioritize the safety of our students and staff. Based on extensive conversations with law enforcement, we have decided to remain closed on Friday.”
According to Reuters, statistics provided by the data of the U.S. Census Bureau state that African-Americans make up about 19 percent of Charlottesville’s overall population of 50,000 people, certainly making this group a minority in this particular area.
The platform of 4chan, as a whole, is now being questioned due to the anonymity it allows. Users can write just about anything they want with few restrictions or guidelines. As a result, 4Chan and similar platforms have provided for the rampant spread of hate and misogyny. While the website has begun to take a closer look on preventing this form of extremism, this has become only more difficult to do as such continue to platforms grow.