Albany High Families Join in Solidarity After Racist Incident

Families came together at Albany High School for a rally Sunday after racially offensive images, some directed at students, were posted on Instagram last week.

The message: Bigotry and bullying won't be tolerated.

Families joined hands in a show of solidarity and listened as some of the parents of those targeted spoke, calling for support in making sure such an incident doesn't happen again.

On the steps of the high school, the growing crowd listened as some parents shared stories related to the incident. Alexandra Campbell Jones said her daughter's picture was used in the posts to an Instagram account.

"They were horribly, horribly graphic pictures of racism," she said. "Not just racially charged but shocking, shocking, shocking."

Albany Unified School District Superintendent Val Williams called the incident horrifying, the images disgusting. She said students are being investigated.

"Some students have been disciplined based on their level of involvement, others because the investigation is still going on," Williams said. "We will have to determine what the discipline is going to be for them."

Williams talked about students learning lessons of inclusiveness and steps being taken to ensure a tolerant and supportive environment. Still, one student said he wanted more openness and clarity.

"Albany has been touted as a safe place, and we’ve been told there is no tolerance for this, and we don’t feel the administration is projecting that," one the student said.

Some also expressed concerns over reports of an anti-Semitic incident.

"I had no idea this kind of racist and hateful stuff was going on here, I really didn’t," a parent said. "It's taken me aback. It's also given me an opportunity to talk to my kids."

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