Easton school district addresses racist, anti-Semitic incidents

(WJAR)

Easton Public Schools addressed recent incidents involving racial slurs and anti-Semitism at Oliver Ames High School.

Last week, students found a racial slur scrawled on a bulletin board outside locker rooms at the school.

Police are also investigating a series of inappropriate messages sent between students. In a letter to parents, Cabral said the messages were “digital memes that included racist, sexist and anti-Israel messages.”

“The first incident that was reported to us was concluded and the second incident is still in the hands of the police department,” Cabral told NBC 10 News.

Cabral said the student responsible for the racial slur is facing disciplinary action.

At a Human Rights Committee meeting Thursday, parents shared what they want next from the school district and committee.

“We have three little girls of color and I want to make sure that what can be done is being done,” Andy Lamb, a resident, said. "She’s already experienced some things in kindergarten.”

The FBI reports Massachusetts had the some of the greatest amount of reported hate crimes in the country last year. In November, a Muslim girl in Framingham received threatening notes at her elementary school.

This week in Attleboro, homophobic messages appeared in downtown. Mayor Paul Heroux described them as hate speech.

“We see things on a daily basis, whether or not there are people following us in a store or giving us funny looks,” Lamb said. “I want to make sure all three of my girls, as they move through the school system, they have everything in place to make them feel safe.”

Lamb said he, along with other parents who spoke during the meeting, would like to receive more data from the school regarding hateful incidents.

Cabral said she has reached out to the Anti-defamation League and other organizations. She said students will also be able to anonymously report such incidents and a committee will be formed, which will include a member of the Human Rights Committee.

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