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Threatening, racist photo circulates at Taylor County High School

The picture, obtained by WCTV, shows the gun in the foreground, pointed at a black student...
The picture, obtained by WCTV, shows the gun in the foreground, pointed at a black student sitting at his desk. It is captioned with a racial slur. (Photo: Taylor County parent)(WCTV)
Published: Feb. 24, 2020 at 1:10 PM EST
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

February 24, 2020

TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- A social media scare is leaving some parents in Taylor County on edge.

The Taylor County School District said a photo was airdropped to students Monday morning. It shows what looks like a photoshopped gun pointed at a students. A racial slur is written underneath.

The district stayed open Monday following the threat. School officials said a time stamp shows the picture was taken several weeks prior, and after an initial investigation they did not believe there to be any threat to students of the school.

Despite the school's decision, several parents picked up students early Monday, concerned about their safety. Parents said whether the picture was photoshopped or not, it's still a scary situation, and this kind of hate shouldn't be happening at school.

Kiera Upshaw's son was depicted in the photo. She said she was shocked and scared after hearing about it, now having doubts about the school's safety.

"I immediately, like my heart sank. I'm like okay, is he okay, is school on lock down, have any precautionary measures been taken?" Upshaw said. "I'm very scared for my son to go back to school because I don't know whether the boy is going to come to school tomorrow with the gun and something happens, you never know."

School district officials said while they don't believe there to be any threat to the school, they take student safety very seriously, and do not tolerate racism.

"All of the staff here, I feel like, have a really good relationship with these students and take care of them like they're our own," said Principal Heather McCoy. "If we don't follow it to the highest degree possible, I don't feel like we would be going the school a service."

District officials said another similar photo was brought forward Monday depicting a photoshopped gun pointed at a group of white students. Officials said they have determined who is responsible for that picture and are handling it internally.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office and Perry Police Department are now investigating to determine the source of the photo.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News

February 24, 2020

PERRY, Fla. (WCTV) — Taylor County authorities are investigating after a photo that appears to show a gun pointed at a student’s head started circulating at Taylor County High School.

The picture, obtained by WCTV, shows the gun in the foreground, pointed at a black student sitting at his desk. It is captioned with a racial slur.

In a statement

, Taylor County School District said it received information about what it called an edited photo from several weeks ago.

“We are working with law enforcement to find the source of the photo and are continuing with our normal school day. There is no threat on our campus at this time,” the statement says.

The district goes on to ask for anyone with information on where the photo originated to come forward.

Several parents have reached out to WCTV expressing their concerns about the photo.

Some are picking up their children from school early and taking them home.

“They were scared. They didn’t want to stay out there,” one parent told WCTV.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

We have received information concerning an edited photo from several weeks ago. We are working with law enforcement to...

Posted by Taylor County High School on Monday, February 24, 2020