A Belgian school has been criticized for sharing a photo of students dressed in stereotypical Chinese clothing, making racist gestures and holding a sign that alludes to the new coronavirus.
According to activist Instagram account @broodjekaasmetsambal, the photo in question was shared on the official Instagram account of @CollegeWaregem, a school in Belgium. The photo has since been deleted and the account has been deactivated.
Students in the photo donned stereotypical Chinese hats and robes, with some dressed as pandas. One person appears to be stretching her eyes sideways in a gesture considered racist toward people of Asian descent. They hold up a sign that reads: “Corona Time.”
According to the Independent, the school in question has been identified as Sint-Paulus school campus College Waregem, a secondary school in Waregem, Belgium.
The school has since released a statement regarding the incident, writing: “They chose an outfit long beforehand, in this case even long before there was any mentioning of the coronavirus. The students alluded to the recent events in a playful way by adding a sign.”
“Neither the school team, nor the students involved have ever had the intention of adopting a condescending or offensive attitude,” the statement continues. “Nonetheless, the school would like to express its apologies publicly and explicitly through this statement.
“We did not estimate the consequences of publishing this picture correctly and we regret having offended certain population groups by it.”
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