MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — Madison Public School officials and police believe a single person is behind racist graffiti found last night at Daniel Hand High School.
In mid-February, the superintendent of Madison Public Schools said a few students reported hateful graffiti in the high school’s restroom. The school’s resource officer determined that a juvenile suspect was responsible for the message.
Superintendent Craig Cooke said in a statement that the district has held meetings with the Diversity Club at the school, along with the town’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee. The district is meeting with the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League later this week to discuss potential programs for students.
“All hate graffiti — all hate speech — is hurtful,” said Stacey Sobel, the director of the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League. “You can imagine being a student that sees that graffiti and wonders ‘Who wrote this? Is this a friend of mine? Is this someone I know? Is this appealing to people that are in my classes?’ It just makes everyone feel unsafe and unwelcome.”
Sobel said the school’s response will depend on each grade level, but it could involve something like anti-bias or anti-bullying training. The State’s Attorney Office Regarding Juvenile Matters is continuing to investigate.
In a statement the superintendent said:
“Those who know our students, teachers, staff and administration, know that we will not stand for hate within our school community. I’m proud of our students, from those who reported this immediately to those who participated in conversations around programming and restoration.”
Locals condemned the graffiti.
“I think it’s deplorable,” said Jeff Paseltiner, a grandparent of a student at Daniel Hand High School. “I really do, I don’t think this country has any room for things like that.”
Others felt the same.
“There’s so much out there for diversity and how we’re all equal,” said Lauren Hession, a Madison resident. “It really hurts that this still goes on.”
Some parents said the minor who police said was responsible should be disciplined.
“Someone should be punished; someone should definitely be made to understand that this is not the way we behave in a civilized society,” said Nick Radich, a parent.