BERKELEY, Calif. (Rob Roth/KTVU) - Berkeley High school administrators are trying to get to the bottom of the bigoted Instagram account. On campus some students are surprised, some are angry. Many are both.
"They attacked everybody. So everyone is pretty much offended," said Mariana McElroy, a junior at BHS and a member of the school's Black Student Union.
Earlier this week a private Instagram account started by at least one Berkeley High student came to light. The account was called "I Hate Jews"
Students say posts were anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic and derogatory towards those with disabilities. Many of the posts also contained hate-filled memes. The account has been shut down.
"Really disappointing and a letdown for our school. It really hurt people a lot," said sophomore Ben Wenger, who is Caucasian.
"My initial reaction was are they aware of the harm that is done by this online behavior," said John Villacencio, the high school director of student activities.
Do you think they are aware, he was asked?
"Actually, no, I don't think they quite understand," he responded.
In an email to parents Thursday, the district's superintendent Donald Evans said he was appalled.
"I am meeting with student leaders this week to partner with them in creating a series of courageous conversations and actions that lead to real change."
Berkeley's mayor says the revelations come just after students seemed united in supporting DACA.
"We are in an environment now where people feel emboldened to say racist things. I trust the district will look into this and hold people responsible," said Mayor Jesse Arrequin.
District officials would not confirm whether any students have been suspended or disciplined. But the word on campus is there have been suspension.
One student says he knows the person who started the racist account
"I think he was joking. A lot of people post edgy memes on the internet to be funny," said the student.
But McElroy's response: "The things they were talking about, they weren't jokes," she said.
The school says it will support students who have been hurt by the account. But officials say the sad reality is, that even in progressive Berkeley, racism exists.