Instagram page appeared to target special-education students

Coral Shores High School. KEYS WEEKLY FILE PHOTO

By Jim McCarthy and Charlotte Twine

A social media account that appeared to target special education students at Coral Shores High School was taken down after parents, school officials and investigators were made aware of the page. 

Called “coralshoressnipe,” the Instagram page had eight posts with pictures of special education students who attend the school. A profile picture showed a masked student taking a picture in a bathroom mirror. In the background was a person using a urinal. 

It’s unknown at this point who created the Instagram account. School board members, Superintendent Theresa Axford and administration were made aware of the Instagram account. Axford said the school district is involving the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation. 

“We do not believe that the photograph of the student in question was taken at Coral Shores High School because all urinals at Coral Shores have dividers between them and there is no divider in the posted picture. Additionally, the Instagram post had been taken down by someone as we began to investigate,” Axford said in a statement to Keys Weekly on Monday afternoon.

A few pictures posted to the Instagram page were taken at the high school’s courtyard and halls. 

Posts by concerned parents to community forums, like “What’s Up Florida Keys Locals Only” on Facebook, showed a screenshot of the Instagram page, which had pictures of several students. 

Coral Shores High School Principal Laura Lietaert said the page that was since taken down was “unacceptable behavior.” Lietaert said she’s been in contact with Axford and other school administrators as an investigation continues. 

“This will have consequences as this is not tolerated here,” she said. 

School board member Sue Woltanski said she was notified early Monday morning. 

“They are taking this very seriously,” Woltanksi said. 

The Instagram page is the second disturbing incident involving Keys schools in recent time. In September, a racist message left on a Marathon High School water fountain by a student football player drew investigation and disciplinary action from the Monroe County School District. Axford said the incident, which had the words “white” and “colored” on different fountains, saw the student perpetrator receiving an “appropriate serious consequence.”

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