The following statement was released in the School Department Newsletter Pathways
This past week, another of our Reading Schools was defaced with anti-semitic graffiti, this time at Parker Middle School. The graffiti, which was located on one of the brick walls in the vestibule right inside the front doors of the building included a swastika and disturbing anti-semitic language. The incident has been reported to police and the graffiti was immediately removed.
We continue to be disheartened and saddened by these events in our schools and troubled that this hate continues to exist in our community. Since these events began a year ago, we have focused our work in educating students the meaning of these hateful symbols and phrases and the importance of inclusion and acceptance through our core values program, A World of Difference student leaders, advisory lessons, student-led assemblies, Dr. Ornstein’s visits to all three secondary schools and curriculum based activities. Our principals and teachers have spoke with all of the students about the graffiti and emphasized their role/power in fostering a safe and inclusive environment through their own actions and expectations of each other.
Although the events continue, we need to continue to do the work necessary to educate our students and community about the importance of fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all students. This will continue to be focus for our schools. We also encourage families to engage in conversation about these important topics. The Antidefamation league has resources giving parents tools to discuss current events. The link to those tools is below. https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/table-talk
If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration offices or your child’s school.