A group of Dutch students is on the receiving end of backlash over a photo of them wearing traditional Chinese clothes, making racist gestures, and posing with a sign that read, “Corona Time.”
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to escalates worldwide, people have been responding in unusual ways.
Yet on social media, Asian people have shared anecdotes of racial prejudice directed at them.
It still came as a surprise when Sint-Paulus Campus College Waregem, a Dutch secondary school in Belgium, posted the now-deleted photo to its Instagram and Facebook pages.
The backlash quickly followed.
Broodje Kaas Met Sambal–an awareness group addressing racism against the Asian community in the Netherlands–reposted the picture and called the school "irresponsible."
The school then deleted the picture, along with its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
On Twitter, a user with the handle @WaregemC created a fake account pretending to be the students to roast them publicly.
After going silent, the school eventually addressed the issue.
In a statement made to a Dutch newspaper, campus director Philip Demuynck issued an apology on behalf of the students.
“Neither the school team, nor the students in question, have intended to hurt this photo. We want to apologize explicitly, because we had not correctly estimated the consequences," he stated.