WILTON, Conn. — A sixth-grader at Middlebrook School found a sticky note on her locker Thursday that said, “Jews will burn,” the third incident of hate speech at the Wilton school this month, according to Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith.
Two earlier incidents involved drawings of Nazi swastikas found in a boys’ bathroom on Oct. 5 and Oct. 20. The parent of the student involved in the first incident has come forward. The second incident remains under investigation.
After the incident Thursday, Smith and Middlebrook Principal Lauren Feltz addressed the entire student body. The told students of the incident and spoke "to them about the incredibly destructive power of hate speech," Smith said in note to parents.
"Students were informed of the consequences of such actions and called again to serve as stewards for inclusivity, kindness, and community."
Smith said he was "distraught by these instances of hate. Our schools are beacons of light in this community and this kind of speech reflects the very worst of humanity — they have no place in our schools and in our community."
Any student involved will be prosecuted, suspended and expelled, he said.
Teachers at Middlebrook have delivered lessons crafted by the Anti-Defamation League since the first Nazi swastika was found two weeks ago, Smith said. They are also working with students to address the presence of hate speech, he said.
A meeting for Middlebrook parents will be held at 9 a.m. Friday in the school's auditorium, with a follow-up meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the same location.
"Please know that we are all committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children in all of our schools and we will not tolerate hate speech in any form," Smith said. "Individuals who are caught committing such acts will be dealt with severely."
Wilton schools, Wilton Police and town officials are working together to investigate these incidents.
Town officials are "reaching out to teach students why such acts of hate are wrong and hurtful," Smith said. "But I implore our parents and caregivers to bring these discussions into your homes ... to remind your children of the seriousness of this situation, and why we must make it our highest priority."
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