The Berkeley NAACP chapter’s youth council held a press conference Friday afternoon in response to a hostile image posted on a Berkeley High School computer two days before, urging the Berkeley Unified School District to take further action to protect underrepresented-minority students.
Representatives from the chapter, including Berkeley High School senior and vice president of the youth council Rayven Wilson, expressed dismay at the “act of violence” against black students.
“The black community views this as a threat and something that can harm our lives,” Wilson said at the press conference. She added that she hopes that “higher legal action” will be taken against the student responsible for the image.
According to Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson Mark Coplan, the student responsible for the image could face any type of consequence, “from restorative justice to expulsion or anything in between.”
The district cannot, however, release any information about the individual or about the nature of the punishment because of confidentiality laws for minors, he added.
Still, Mansour Id-Deen, president of the local NAACP chapter, urged the district to disclose information about the student’s punishment, which would discourage others from committing “copycat crimes.”
Moni Law, adviser to the Berkeley NAACP chapter’s youth council, agreed that it would be a “cop-out” if the district failed to disclose the nature of the punishment, saying it would not violate confidentiality laws so long as the individual’s name was not disclosed.
“Individuals feel that they are not being dealt with seriously,” Id-Deen said at the press conference. “These issues will not go away, and the NAACP will not go away until we get a proper resolution.”