HEBRON, Conn. (WTNH) — RHAM High School hosted a community conversation Tuesday evening after racially charged messages were found in the school’s bathroom.
This incident comes just months after a hate crime was investigated at the high school for a noose that was found hanging in the boy’s locker room.
The high school wrote in a press release that on Friday “racially charged graffiti” was discovered in a school bathroom. When administrators were made aware of the situation, they said they immediately contacted local and state police.
School officials stated that the district does not tolerate hateful behavior, and they are hopeful they can identify the person behind the messages.
Since late November, when the incident with the noose was discovered at RHAM High School, officials stated the school has taken several steps to curb hateful behavior. Joelle Murchison, a statewide leader in Connecticut, has been working in step with the high school to enforce these efforts.
Murchison has presented at a board of education meeting and facilitated focus groups with students and staff which focus on diversity and inclusion.
“Our district does not tolerate hateful behavior or actions,” RHAM Superintendent Colin McNamara said.
Tuesday’s focus was about making change on an individual level.
“One relationship at a time is a chance for us to learn enough about each other that we can dispel the myth and dispel the stories and dispel the assumptions, the biases that we think are the case about people and really understand who we are,” Murchison said.
Students drove from Willimantic to show their support.
“I want to make sure that everyone gets my message, and other people’s messages, because I know how hard it is as a person of color to go through being called the n-word, to go through all of it,” Jazmin Santiago said. “I don’t want other people suffering the way I did.”
RHAM officials also announced its first “Respect Day” on Feb. 16, which will focus on treating others with kindness and dignity, the school stated.