The Arapahoe County Sheriff is investigating an anti-Semitic Snapchat post made last weekend, allegedly involving four students from Cherry Creek High School.
According to media reports this week, the post referred to violence against Jews but may have been intended as a joke.
The Mountain States office of the Anti-Defamation League is working with the high school and Cherry Creek School District to determine whether there is any substance to the threat and what action the school and district should take in response to the incident.
In a letter sent to parents this week, Cherry Creek High School Principal Ryan Silva emphasized that the school “does not tolerate hateful speech or actions. Our responsibility is to keep students safe and to provide a place where students of every race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation feel safe, valued and supported.”
According to the Denver Post, the Snapchat post was a photograph of three students who have reportedly claimed that they were unaware that an anti-Semitic caption was later added by a fourth student without their knowledge.
The post featured the three students wearing hats in a costume store, with a text box below reading: “Me and the boys bout to exterminate the Jews.”
ADL regional director Scott Levin told the Post that while the anti-Semitic reference in the post may turn out to be a case of ill-advised humor, the fact that his organization is collecting increasingly frequent reports of anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado makes such language anything but amusing.
“These kids that did it presumably thought they were being funny,” he said.
“It’s not just the past and the Holocaust. We’re right now in Colorado experiencing an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.”
According to the ADL’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado, released in April, while 2018 figures showed a decrease from the previous year (39 incidents in 2018 compared to 57 in 2017) the number of such incidents remain at near record levels.
Meanwhile, according to data gathered by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, hate crimes overall in Colorado nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018, with 185 cases reported.