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Another AirDrop incident reported at OPRF

This one, though, not racial in nature, officials say

December 7th, 2018 5:04 PM

By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 officials have completed an investigation into another incident involving Apple's AirDrop feature, which allows users to send messages to phones nearby; however, this most recent incident, which happened Friday, did not involve hate speech, officials said. 

"The content of the message was determined to be a meme showing hardware and electrical accessories with the words 'white power accessories' above it," according to an email sent to OPRF families on Dec. 7. 

District officials said that the AirDrop was "confined to one classroom and all students present at the time were interviewed. Of the three students who acknowledge receiving the message, they all reported to have declined it." 

Shortly after starting an investigation into the incident, officials received an anonymous tip from a student who admitted having accidentally shared the AirDrop message "to students other than one who consented to receiving it." 

That student has since "apologized for any confusion the error," OPRF officials said in the statement. 

 "While hate speech was not involved, we felt it was important to share," the statement reads. 

This isn't the only time the term "white power accessories" has caused confusion. In 2016, a newspaper in the UK reported that there had been public outcry after someone posted to social media the photo of a shelf placard reading "white power accessories" hanging in one of the store's aisles. 

The sign, it turns out, had been advertising "white goods," which typically describes large electrical appliances like refrigerators and washing machines that are usually white.

The letter OPRF officials sent out Friday did not go into detail about the context of the AirDrop message or the student's intentions for sending it.  

Friday's incident happened roughly a month after a student used AirDrop to send the image of a swastika from somewhere in the high school's auditorium to students' cell phones during an assembly.  

After OPRF and law enforcement officials conducted an investigation, a 15-year-old OPRF student was harassment through electronic communication. The student appeared before a judge last month before being released into the custody of his parents. 

Contact:
Email: michael@oakpark.com