Mass. superintendents band together to condemn racist attacks
Educational leaders stood in solidarity after several incidents of racism and threats targeting their colleagues.
Several Massachusetts superintendents recently spoke out against racism and threats of violence directed at their colleagues.
On Thursday night, dozens of superintendents representing schools in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties condemned the most recent incident, which happened the day before, according to a WCVB report.
In that incident, racist graffiti found near Wayland High targeted Wayland Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Omar Easy.
According to the report, the words “Omar = (expletive)” was written in spray paint near the town’s swimming pool, located near the school.
At Thursday night’s meeting, the educational leaders called the graffiti “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Wayland police are now investigating the incident.
“We do not tolerate any acts of hate in Wayland and we want to reassure our community that we are taking this incident very seriously. The person or people found responsible for this hateful message will be held accountable,” Acting Chief Ed Burman said in a Facebook post.
In a joint statement, superintendents called on the community to denounce the incident, saying, “This was not a reaction to a school district policy or decision. Rather, as a district leader of color, this was an attack on who he is.”
The Wayland incident follows two other recent acts targeting school leaders. Last week, a parent allegedly threatened to shoot Concord Superintendent Dr. Laurie Hunter. That person was arrested and placed under house arrest.
Also last week, a racist message aimed at the principal of a Quincy high school was found in one of the school’s stalls. The message read, “we want a white principal,” above a hanging stick figure, according to The Boston Globe.
“Years ago, we might literally whitewash the graffiti and try to move on,” said Needham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Gutekanst on Thursday. “We’re going to call out the racism. We’re going to call out violence that’s suggested toward our colleagues or students and staff and say we won’t stand for it.”
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