Newton schools investigating third anti-Semitic incident

Newton school officials are investigating after a recent anti-Semitic incident at a middle school. 

The incident happened on Thursday and was reported on Friday. 

Grafitti was found in a bathroom that contained an anti-Semitic message. 

This incident is being called a copy-cat incident following two previous incidents at the same school that were not initially reported.

In October, somebody scribbled an anti-Semitic message on a bathroom stall inside the FA Day Middle School. In January, somebody etched a swastika in the snow outside the school.

However, the incidents were never reported to police. The school’s principal was made aware of the incident, but never reported them.

The Newton Schools superintendent said the district has a protocol for handling such incidents but that in this case it was not followed. 

Newton Mayor Setti Warren said, "It’s unacceptable that there was a delay in time in the reporting to the police department. We have to understand why."

Newton Public Schools Superintendent David Fleishman also said the incidents should have been reported. 

The incidents came to light after an anonymous letter was sent to the city, the school district, police and the Anti-Defamation League. 

Police have now launched a criminal investigation into the anti-Semitic incidents. 

Since then the principal has emailed the school committee, apologizing for not telling them when these incidents happened.

It is unclear whether or not the principal will be disciplined.

The school district plans to hold a community meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to answers students’ and parents’ questions about the incidents. 

On Friday, a letter was sent out to parents of students at the Day Middle School referring to Thursday’s incident: : 

Dear Day Family,

I regret to inform you that hateful graffiti was found written on a bathroom wall yesterday at Day. The police were notified immediately and are currently conducting an investigation.  The Superintendent, the Mayor, and the Day faculty have also been alerted. 

Such deplorable acts are unacceptable, will not be tolerated, and do not define our inclusive school community.  If you or your child has any information about the person who may have committed this offense, please contact the police immediately.  Information can be submitted to the Community Services Bureau at 617-796-2103 or via the anonymous tip line at 617-796-2121.  

As I described in an earlier message, we have begun a series of discussions with students, faculty, and community to strengthen our educational efforts to combat anti-Semitism and insure a supportive learning environment. I met with the Day staff earlier this week, began a series of conversations with students yesterday, and look forward to hearing from you at the forum for Day parents on Wednesday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m. or at the Parent-Principal coffee on March 11th at 8:00 a.m.

Many of you may be aware of media reports of the incidents here at Day. I thank you for supporting our students and school as we address these incidents and discuss ways in which we can come together as a community.

Sincerely,

Brian Turner

(Copyright (c) 2016 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)