Last week, for the third time in a month, a note with an antisemitic message was left on the locker of a sixth grader at MIddlebrook Middle School.
“I am deeply sorry to inform you that there was another incident of hate speech at Middlebrook School,” Kevin Smith, superintendent of Wilton city schools, wrote in the letter to parents, informing them of the incident. “A sixth grade student found a sticky note on her locker that read ‘Jews will burn.’ Principal Feltz immediately called all 6 yellow team members together and she and I addressed the students. We then assembled the rest of the student body to inform them of this incident, and spoke to them about the incredibly destructive power of hate speech. Students were informed of the consequences of such actions and called again to serve as stewards for inclusivity, kindness, and community.”
Smith went on to say that students caught committing such acts “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and subject to suspension and expulsion.”
Apart from last week, swastikas were found drawn on the walls of the middle school’s bathroom twice this month, according to News 12 Connecticut. A student confessed to one of those incidents.
In a letter sent home to parents earlier this month, the school’s principal said: “The student was not personally intending to make an antisemitic statement. Of course, this in no way decreases the negative impact this has had on our school community.”
Subsequent to the incident, meetings were held with the school’s parent community to discuss the incidents.
Smith also asked parents to do join school and town officials, as well as the police, in combatting hate crimes.
“Please know that the Wilton schools, Wilton Police and town officials are working as a cohesive unit, both to investigate these incidents while also reaching out to teach students why such acts of hate are wrong and hurtful,” he wrote. “But I implore our parents and caregivers to bring these discussions into your homes,” Smith wrote in his letter. “Please take a few minutes tonight, and over the next few evenings, to remind your children of the seriousness of this situation, and why we must make it our highest priority. Wilton is a community built on love, tolerance and respect. Working together, recognizing that we all have a role to play in teaching our children, I am confident we will emerge a stronger and better community.”
CAP: A sign for Middlebrook Middle School, Connecticut. (Screenshot from News 12)