GMHS Graffiti Update, 3/1
Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty, Staff, and Students-
I am writing to give you an update on the graffiti incident at Georgetown Middle/High School from earlier this week.
Over the past couple of days, assistant principals Ms. Lysen and Mr. Prescott, in partnership with the Georgetown Police Department, have been investigating the graffiti found in the first-floor boys bathroom. They have been inspecting all bathrooms, locker rooms, reviewing camera footage, looking at handwriting samples, and interviewing teachers and students. I would like to give you an update of their findings:
* Two offensive sentences were written in pencil on a tile in the boys’ bathroom on the first floor.
* It was determined the two sets of written words were related to rap songs. One was the actual lyrics and one was from an online forum designed to talk about a rapper. Both rappers are recently deceased and were young rivals. The words appear to be tributes to the rappers.
* A swastika was scratched into a private stall partition in the same boys’ bathroom.
* It is unclear when the swastika was created, but it is believed to be before the writing on the bathroom tile was discovered. This appears to be a separate incident.
The investigation into the two incidents is ongoing. Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the GMHS school administration or Laura Britton, school resource officer.
To ensure all locations are free of graffiti, all boys and girls bathrooms and locker rooms have been inspected. Graffiti of any kind has been removed and painted over. This now allows the school administration and police to establish a timeline if any graffiti were to surface in the future.
In the meantime, I have met with Ms. Daly, School Adjustment Counselor, and Cassie Murray, Special Edu. Teacher, who were recently trained by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on how to establish a community that is inclusive for all and to address offensive and discriminatory situations. In our meeting, we agreed involving student voice and action, short-term and long-term, would have the greatest impact on our school culture and community as a whole. Ms. Daly and Ms. Murray will be working with their trained team of students to brainstorm on how best to create a heightened awareness around inclusivity at GMHS. Teachers and students from other clubs have expressed an interest in joining the team.
The graffiti incidents are in no way a representation of the Georgetown Public Schools’ core values and beliefs. We remain committed to embracing all faculty, staff, and students and are steadfast in creating an environment where everyone feels safe and supportive to express themselves. Individuals who engage in acts that do not support an inclusive culture are quickly addressed in an appropriate manner.
I continue to be proud of the faculty, staff, and students at Georgetown Middle/High School and will not let the careless act of one or few individuals represent the many great people who support an inclusive culture. Together, the majority’s voice has and will continue to prevail and support our strong foundational belief that Georgetown Middle/High School embraces everyone regardless of their differences.
Thank you for your support and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.
Mr. Dan Richards