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The Carmel Board of Education announced last week several high school students were being disciplined for creating and posting fake, inappropriate videos using artificial intelligence and impersonating different members of the district administration and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.
In a Feb. 15 statement, the seven-member board stated administrators were made aware of three individuals on the social media app TikTok that were later discovered to be students.
“As an organization committed to diversity and inclusion, the Carmel Central School District Board of Education is appalled at, and condemns, these recent videos, along with the blatant racism, hatred and disregard for humanity displayed in some of them,” the board stated.
“Words in a statement alone feel inadequate. We must go beyond words. Collectively, we must work to end racism. We must look within ourselves and reflect on how we may be propagating racist stereotypes, policies and conditions. We must ask ourselves and others, ‘What can we do to change our current environment and expectations, and work to create an anti-racist school community?’ We must listen and learn, and then we must act. To do the first without the second is simply not an option,” the board continued.
Board President Debra Heitman-Cayea, Vice President Melissa Orser, and trustees Valerie Crocco, John C. Curzio II, Dawn Dall, Matthew Morello, and Jason Paraskeva stated the involved students were being dealt with in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct.
“The Board of Education is committed, now more than ever, to ensuring that our programs, our actions, and our district commit to our continued work toward a fully inclusive school community – one where all voices are heard and where all perspectives matter,” the board stated. “We reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our work and the District’s K-12 programs, and we urge our school community and the community at large to join in this effort, knowing that it will create a path to a better society and a better future.”
“We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or racism, either in our programs, or from the members of our District. We hold everyone in our school system to standards of basic respect and human decency,” they continued. “No one is as strong as all of us, and together we can work to unite and send a strong message to all that racism and all forms of hatred have no place in our schools.”
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/