Somers Teen Creates Anonymous Instagram Accounts to Slut-Shame Classmates; Posts Feature Racist, Homophobic Comments

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The facts surrounding the Somers social media hate controversy are starting to crystalize, with several students telling The Northern Westchester Examiner of a freshman seeking to “slut-shame” classmates on Instagram while anonymously posting nasty comments about herself too in order to create deniability over her involvement.  

The Northern Westchester Examiner is not publishing the name of the alleged perpetrator. 

“The person eventually caved in and admitted to running the account and I was very surprised,” 18-year-old Somers High School senior Bella Sirchia remarked. “She was posting about girls she admired calling them out and potentially hurting their social record just so she could text them individually to tell the girls who are vulnerable that they are perfect. Her whole motive was merely to appear as a hero. By that, I was even more appalled that she thought it was okay to do that.” 

Most of the Instagram posts featured photographs of female Somers High School students, with hateful comments underneath the images. 

“Black people should be band [sic],” a post stated on the account, which is called somerssluts2. 

“Stop trying to act like [you’re] black ugly [expletive],” another post stated. 

“Down syndrome,” one caption stated. 

“Meet the gayrios,” another read. 

Other students The Northern Westchester Examiner interviewed for this article asked to remain anonymous. 

One of them said she first learned about the hateful comments posted Thursday because her friend had asked her if she’d seen them. 

“The posts were pictures of girls – mainly sophomores – with negative captions attached that made fun of them,” the 17-year-old Somers High School junior explained. “Some were body shaming and hurtful comments. However, under each post I was pleasantly surprised to see other students speaking out against this hate with positivity.”

A 17-year-old senior, who also requested anonymity, said the behavior is out of character for Somers.

“I thought it was so weird to see posts like that, because I didn’t think that anyone in Somers would really act like that,” she said. “I usually think of us as a very friendly and family-like community. This seemed out of character. It was kind of shocking.” 

Two different Instagram accounts created in recent days were targeting Somers students with the “cruel” and “disparaging” comments, a letter from the high school principal stated Thursday night. 

Apparently, the first Instagram account was shutdown. The perpetrator then allegedly started a new account that remains active as of this writing, sources explained. 

Many posts on the account are “sexist, racist, and homophobic,” principal Mark Bayer said in his Thursday letter. But those views don’t represent the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of people in the school community, several students stressed. 

“Here at Somers we are a loving, kind, and welcoming community and this account is absolutely a disgrace and is the opposite of what Somers is all about,” said 17-year-old Isabella De Feo, a Somers High School senior. “I think that the fact that this was brought up to public attention is a good and bad thing because people can chose to either be a part of it or do something about it. I chose to be against it as do many because Somers does not support this type of behavior…I hope that whoever made the account gets held responsible to the fullest extent possible because this is not the way that any Somers community member should act.”

Somers has endured several unrelated hate incidents in recent years. There were two instances in March of swastikas found at Somers High School. Last year, in January, a swastika was discovered written on a chair in the school library. Also, two Somers High School students were arrested in 2016 for causing more than $29,000 in damage to more than 40 school buses. 

F.B.I. statistics show hate crimes rising in recent years. In 2018, there were 7,120 documented cases, compared to 5,850 in 2015. 

As for the most recent social media incident, Bayer characterized the accounts as “cowardly” and mentioned law enforcement was investigating. 

A phone message left for Trooper Aaron Hicks, the public information officer for State Police headquarters in Poughkeepsie, has not yet been returned.  Attempts to reach the alleged perpetrator are ongoing.

This article was reported by Ariel Markowski and Adam Stone. 

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