JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A photo of a Bishop Snyder student holding a gun was posted on a blog and falsely accused another student of crimes he didn’t commit.
On January 30, two Bishop Snyder students that played on the baseball team were arrested for threatening to kill the only African American player on the team. Meantime, a blog posted a photo that linked a student not involved, to the crimes.
According to local attorney Shannon Schott, there was a member of the team, not arrested, that was falsely accused of being involved in the threats.
The images were posted on an online blog.
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Shannon Schott is partner at the Plata Schott law firm and an expert in juvenile law.
“Someone took it upon themselves to identify someone who looked like the boy in the photo with the firearm and then started spreading that rumor on social media to a point where the boy and his family are receiving threats and it’s becoming a safety risk for sure,” Schott said.
Schott said the false accusations could lead to a lawsuit.
“If you are not accurate and that statement is wrong, it could be defamation and certainly the families could take legal action against any individual, any content creator,” Schott said.
The blog appears to have taken down this post, but Schott believes the damage may have already been done with the false accusation.
Dcn. David Yazdiya, the principal at Bishop Snyder High School, sent us this statement:
“Racism is not tolerated in our school. Our curriculum addresses the Church’s stance against racism and all forms of injustice.
That being said, anytime parents bring a concern to our attention, it is reviewed immediately and acted on appropriately. As a Catholic school, Bishop Snyder High School is committed to promoting the respect and dignity of every individual as its highest ideal. When students’ behaviors are inconsistent with that ideal, they are met with consequences. And in some cases, the students do not remain in the school.
With regard to new protocols, students and teachers were addressed last week and we will continue to find innovative and effective ways to address the evils of racism and all forms of injustice.”
Meantime, the parents of the African American student, sent us this statement.
“My son chose to stay at Bishop Snyder. We have had meetings with coaches about him staying at Bishop Snyder. If you support my son, in this situation, please allow the authorities to do their part. We are committed to the Bishop Snyder baseball program, and we must show unity as a community.”