Sliding into DM’s on Instagram took a turn for the sophomore boys this week.
This past Monday, one of the boys on an exclusive 10th grade Instagram group chat added Principal of Judaic Studies Rabbi Assaraf, to the surprise of the other group members.
Once Rabbi Assaraf appeared on the chat, he noticed a sudden scramble to delete posts and leave the chat, due to the inappropriate content of many of the posts. On Tuesday, students rejoined the chat, changing the name to “Torah Boys,” with the knowledge that Rabbi Assaraf was still in the group. The new chat features pictures of Judaic objects as well as videos of the 10th graders cleaning the school.
According to sophomore group chat members, the chat was made up of only Hebrew Academy students, until one member added a friend outside of the school.
The administration is currently looking into consequences for members of the group chat.
This is not the first time a sophomore group chat has led to trouble for students. Three years ago, the administration heard about a sophomore WhatsApp class chat with inappropriate content. They investigated the matter and punished students accordingly. But this is the first time an administrator has been added to a student group chat and able to see the content first hand.
Many teachers have addressed the issue during class, advising students to be cautious of what they put on their social media accounts.
“The stories are out there,” said English teacher Mr. Duarte. “As far people thinking that they put something out there and it’s only going to go to five or six people or their little circle of friends, it’s out there. Eventually anyone can see it.”
According to chat members, the group was created two years ago and included a majority of the 10th grade boys. Occasionally kids from outside of the school were added and then left, but the chat was created by and maintained by Hebrew Academy students. No girls were ever added to the group.
Principal of General Studies Dr. Lieber and Rabbi Assaraf were unable to comment due to the ongoing investigation into the matter.