Newton parents address anti-Semitic incidents with school officials

Parents expressed frustration on Wednesday during a meeting to address recent anti-Semitic incidents at a Newton middle school.

In October, an anti-Semitic message was found scrawled in a bathroom of the F.A. Day Middle School. In January, a swastika was drawn in the snow outside the school.

However, the school’s principal failed to report the incidents to police and school officials.

An anonymous letter to school officials brought the incidents to their attention

During a meeting with school officials, parents said they were frustrated with how both incidents were handled, with one parent describing it as a safety issue. 

During the meeting, the principal acknowledged he should have reported the incidents to police. Superintendent of School David Fleishman said the principal’s response went against protocol for handling such incidents. 

Parents said they were upset with the principal handled the incidents

"It’s frustrating. I hear what parents are saying. [The principal] has been a wonderful leader. But this kind of lapse is hard to get past," said parent Julie Stonehill. 

Fleishman said the incidents are now a teachable moment. 

"This is an opportunity to work with our students, supports our students. Let them know why hate speech is painful and threatening," Fleishman said. 

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