A Facebook page posing as the official page for Chowchilla Union High School was removed by the social network Monday after school officials and other community members reported it for inflammatory posts.
The page promoted a pro-Nazi website and later posted an article suggesting transgender people are mentally ill. The posts were included among a stream of seemingly school-related posts and the page had school information that appeared to have been taken from the district’s website.
Ron Seals, superintendent of Chowchilla Union High School District, had a one-word reaction to news of the page being taken down: “Fantastic.”
Melanie Ensign, of Facebook’s communications department, said the page was removed for impersonation.
“Impersonation pages and profiles are against our Community Standards,” Ensign said in an email, adding that people should report such pages to their team for investigation.
Seals said he doesn’t know who was behind the page, but a police report will be taken in case another incident occurs in the future.
“I’ve been in the game for 25 years, and I don’t put anything past anyone,” Seals said. “It could be a student, staff or someone in another state. Who knows?”
Neither the high school nor the school district has a legitimate Facebook page, though the district does plan to launch official pages for the 2016-17 academic year.
Many of the posts on the fake page were related to innocuous school-related topics, such as an activity calendar and yearbook sales. The page had more than 500 “likes,” and more than 5,000 people had visited it. Though posts appeared to date back to September 2014, nearly all the posts appeared to have been made Thursday or later.
However, one post criticized California’s move to ban public schools from using Native Americans as mascots. Chowchilla is in the process of replacing its Redskins nickname because of the ban. The same post shared a link to the American Nazi Party.
Another post on the page included pictures of new mascot options, including the “Chowchilla Rednecks” and “Unicorns.”
Early Monday, the page posted a link to an article that said transgender people are mentally ill. The post said the school would request teachers to instruct students about various mental illnesses within the next week.
Seals said the posts on the page did not represent the school district.
Ensign said Facebook users can report a page by clicking on its cover photo, select “report page,” choose “I think it’s an unauthorized use of my intellectual property” and follow the onscreen instructions.
“I’m just really glad the page is gone,” Seals said
|Chowchilla News Day
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