This email from Newton North Principal Mark Aronson was sent to school families today. I’ve highlighted one sentence with particularly disturbing information in bold.
Dear Newton North Community,
As many of you are aware, acts of racism and Anti-Semitism have been committed at North this year. In all cases, police were informed immediately and are working to identify those responsible. In light of events at Friday’s basketball game, I wanted to provide more detail and share our plans to begin a community conversation about bias and tolerance at North.
As background, in December, anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered on a bathroom wall. Since Friday’s basketball game, three more incidents of similar graffiti were discovered. In February, four racist questions were submitted via an anonymous online site as the Black Leadership Advisory Club (BLAC) was preparing for Black Culture Day. Following these incidents, I spoke with students, staff, advisors, and resource officers to insure our students felt supported and safe. In addition, I informed the attendees of Black Culture Day about these incidents and confirmed they would be addressed.
On Tuesday, I shared details of the incidents with faculty and staff and began to develop a plan for how to engage the students and the community in this larger discussion. On Thursday, I have invited all students and staff to attend a discussion on these issues, with the goal of creating an advisory council. This council will identify issues of race, gender, and cultural diversity and provide insight into how we can best address them within our schools and our community.
I look forward to engaging our students and the community in a meaningful dialogue about how we can celebrate our diversity and draw strength from it. I encourage you to reach out to me should you have ideas about how we can move this conversation forward.