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Wilton Superintendent Addresses Swastika In Bathroom, Gun Photo On Snapchat

Kevin Smith is the Wilton superintendent of schools
Kevin Smith is the Wilton superintendent of schools Photo Credit: File

WILTON, Conn. — The Wilton superintendent sent a letter to parents promising that the schools are safe places for all students after he "learned of two reprehensible incidents" on Thursday.

A drawing of a swastika was discovered in a boys bathroom at Middlebrook School on Thursday, said superintendent Kevin Smith. The parent of the child who drew the swastika came forward. 

"While neither I nor any member of our administration will in any way minimize the impact of this incident, I took some small comfort in learning that the child very clearly did not understand the full meaning of the symbol or the repercussions of drawing it," Smith said in the letter.

Earlier on Thursday, Wilton High administrators were alerted to a Snapchat post in which a student displayed a picture of a gun and the phrase “lets have some fun,” Smith said. 

"The administration immediately contacted the Wilton PD and initiated an investigation," he said. 

The school day continued without interruption, Smith said. 

Robert William O’Donnell, principal at Wilton High, said the Snapchat post contained no direct threats. The identity of the poster is not known, but the Wilton Police Department was working directly with Snapchat on the investigation, he said. The post was seen by only one student, O'Donnell said.

Smith called the incidents "extremely alarming, especially coming on the heels of the senseless massacre that occurred on Sunday in Las Vegas. Adding to the concern, locally, in recent weeks we have read reports of vandalism of the Wilton Hindu Mandir Temple and of white supremacist flyers being left in Wilton residents’ driveways."

The superintendent repeated his commitment to ensuring that the Wilton schools are safe places for all students. 

"The swastika represents the ideology and the group responsible for the decimation of millions," Rabbi Rachel Kay Bearman of Temple B’nai Chaim said In a statement. "Within its lines, the swastika contains the story of the torture and murder of millions and millions of men, women, and children. It is a potent and stark reminder that cruelty can and will spread when good people are silent."

She called on the community "to lift up your voices and denounce any behavior that threatens the spirit of a neighbor." Bearman urged that the incident not be dismissed as “kids being kids” and encouraged parents to discuss with their children the pain of the swastika. 

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