An image depicting a text message reportedly sent by a senior high school teacher in East Jakarta has gone viral on social media for what many consider its discriminatory content.
In a screen capture that recently made rounds on social media, a WhatsApp number allegedly belonging to an individual identified as TS sent a message discouraging others in a group chat from voting for non-Muslim candidates for chair of the Student Executive Organization (OSIS).
TS is reportedly a religious studies and civic education teacher.
“Be careful not to vote for non-Muslim OSIS chair candidates number 1 and 2. No matter what, we are the majority. We need a leader who shares our beliefs,” the message read.
“Rohis [Islamic extracurricular program] members, don’t be traitors.”
Gunas Mahdianto, head of the East Jakarta Education Subagency, confirmed the authenticity of the controversial message and said the incident had been investigated.
“[TS] has been counseled by the principal. The teacher has also been reported to the [Jakarta Education Agency],” Gunas said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
He expressed dismay over TS’ discriminatory message, saying that such a sentiment was uncharacteristic of a teacher, especially at a school attended by a diverse body of students of various religious beliefs.
“We need to address issues related to ethnicity, race and religion. Every religion is equal,” Gunas said, adding that he was uncertain whether TS was allowed to continue teaching as usual during the investigation. (rfa)