Clayton principal reacts after students make 'hateful' post on social media

Clayton High School sign (Credit: KMOV)

CLAYTON, Mo. ( -- A social media post is getting attention from students, parents and the administration at Clayton High School.

The post, which was shared on a closed Instagram group, happened outside of the school day two weeks ago, but Dr. Dan Gutchewsky, the school’s principal, said the students involved in the post were disciplined.

In a letter sent to parents Saturday, Gutchewsky described the post as “hurtful and hateful in nature and directed toward other Clayton students.” He later said they were anti-semetic in nature. The principal said it’s unusual for administrations to become involved in something that happens outside of the school, but because the post “runs counter to everything we believe, [it] will not be tolerated and must be addressed.”

News 4 caught up with Clayton's principal Wednesday afternoon. He further condemned the social media post made my multiple students.

"It's pretty appalling," Dr. Gutchewsky said. "You have a set of ideals and you build a community around trust and inclusiveness and then you have a few students (do something) that flies in the face of everything we stand for."

Students were mentioned specifically in the post. They were "hurt" by the comments according to officials.

Gutchewsky said he enlisted the help of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to develop a plan that will provide resources to better learn how to reject hateful speech and reinforce appropriate use of social media.

“This is not an issue that can be addressed either just at school or just at home. In order to be effective, we need to be partners and work together. It is my hope that our work with the ADL reaches beyond the walls of CHS and engages families as well. Conversations about hateful speech and cyberbullying need to happen at home as well as in school,” read a portion of Gutchewsky’s letter.

Gutchewsky ended the letter by stating that the “Greyhound family” values trust and inclusion, and it’s very important not to forget that.

There will be a school board meeting Wednesday night where the post is expected to be brought up. The meeting was scheduled prior to the discovery of the post.

The school district has not disclosed what the post said other than it was anti-semetic and hateful in nature.

News 4 also talked with multiple districts across the area to find out how they would handle incidents that occur off school property and outside of school hours. Some tell us they would not discipline students for something that happens away from the classroom. Others say the most important thing to do is communicate with the families if there is a problem.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

Digital Content Producer

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