9/20/06 "WP Forever" NOT Widespread!

Facebook yanks student racial group
UA students exposed teen 'white power’ group

September 20, 2006

TUSCALOOSA, AL | Law enforcement officials are investigating several local high school students who formed a Facebook group with the apparent intent to promote “white power."

The group’s page on the social networking Web site included a black and white photo of Ku Klux Klansmen and the words "WP is the way to be."

Six Tuscaloosa County High School freshmen and a student at Paul W. Bryant High School were listed by name as officers in the group.

The group was apparently exposed by University of Alabama students, many of whom posted comments on the site condemning the group.

A check on Facebook Tuesday for other, similarly named websites uncovered one, called “WP!" that was started by UA students.

A description of the Web site says, “if you dont know…dont join and it aint widespread," presumably a reference to the band Widespread Panic.

Members of the group said in e-mail messages to the News that the group was formed as a joke, anti-Widespread Panic group. UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said she was unaware of the group.