A student who made an anti-Semitic posting to a website frequented by Great Neck South High School freshmen came from outside the district, an administrator said in a Monday letter to parents and community members.
Thomas P. Dolan, Great Neck's superintendent, said the offending student's school has been notified and that the post on the private Facebook page that is not run or sanctioned by the district has been removed. Dolan said a parent alerted the district to the posting Sunday and that administrators notified law enforcement a day later.
"The district will continue to use education as its means to eliminate these hateful statements," Dolan said, adding that when "small cruelties" go unchecked, "they manifest themselves into larger cruelties and more offensive actions that spread and are replicated."
The posting shows a little boy whose photo had been manipulated so that it appears he has a Hitler mustache and is wearing a swastika on his arm. A caption above his head contains an anti-Semitic reference.
Nassau County police are aware of the post, but are not pursuing an investigation, a spokeswoman said.
Lori Beth Schwartz, president of the United Parent Teacher Council of Great Neck, said students and parents of various backgrounds were upset by the posting. "This community stands together in its outrage," she said. "We were heartbroken that anything like this could ever happen."
She said a handful of parents spoke out about the issue at a regularly scheduled meeting Monday. Schwartz said she and other parents believe the district handled the matter swiftly and the incident serves as a reminder to all to renew their commitment to tolerance.
Dolan, who declined to comment on the matter Tuesday, said in his letter that the posting was "reprehensible" and warned students of the impact of their words.
"The comparatively minor evil is the anonymity with which individuals can post on social media sites and the proliferation of anonymous, or seemingly anonymous, statements that can be made and instantaneously shared with no awareness of the damage that they can do," he said in the letter.