A Maryland high school principal is being investigated after a racist and antisemitic tirade surfaced on social media, but it may be a fake, computer-generated recording.
The 45 second audio clip, posted on Instagram, allegedly features Pikesville High School principal Eric Eiswert making derogatory remarks about black students, faculty and the Jewish community.
“I’m the principal here, me and only me,” the audio begins. “You know, I seriously don’t understand why I have to constantly put up with these dumb a***s here every day.”
“Between these ungrateful black kids who can’t test their way out of a paper bag or these teachers who don’t get it. How hard is it to gets these students to meet their grade level expectations?”
The speaker goes on to name specific staff members, claiming they should not have been hired.
But some suspect the recording is fake.
“[The] voice in the recording is not Eiswert,” said Billy Burke, executive director of the Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employee, the union that represents Baltimore County administrators.
“We believe that it is AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated,” Burke said, according to The Baltimore Banner. “He did not say that.”
Kyria Joseph, the Baltimore County Public Schools’ executive director, said the school district is investigating the matter, treating it as a personnel issue.
“The BCPS Department of Schools was made aware of an alleged audio recording of Principal Eiswert that included derogatory remarks about some PHS students and staff,” Joseph wrote, according to The Banner. “We immediately notified the BCPS Office of Investigations and they are investigating this matter.
“While this is a personnel matter and I am limited in what I can share, I will provide an update as soon as more information is available.”
Burke isn’t sure how or why someone created an AI recording of Eiswert, but he plans to make sure the principal receives due process throughout the investigations, The Banner reports.
Richard Forno, co-director of the Center for Cybersecurity at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, says the audio could have been created with just a few sentences from a YouTube clip or a media interview uploaded to an AI program.
“It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to pull it off,” Forno told The Banner. “You could probably do this type of stuff on a computer.”
Stunts like it could be the “next iteration of the high school prank,” Forno said.