Dear Northfield School District Families:
I am disappointed to be sharing a message that Bridgewater principal Nancy Antoine sent to that school’s families a short time ago. This incident is another stark reminder of the immense challenge we face in eliminating racism. Despite maddening and disheartening situations like this one, we must keep moving forward together toward that vision.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Dear Bridgewater Families:
I need to share with you some troubling news. Late Wednesday afternoon, some troubling graffiti was discovered in the girls’ bathroom in the Grizzly Bear wing where Grades 3-5 classrooms are located. The graffiti included inappropriate words with a racial slur. The words written on the bathroom wall are never acceptable and, frankly, personally hurtful.
We are investigating the incident and will use our student citizenship handbook to guide any disciplinary response. The incident has been reported to our school resource officer, our district’s human rights officer, and the city’s human rights commission. I will be addressing this issue with students in an age-appropriate way in tomorrow morning’s announcements.
While the words appear to have been written by a child, we know they learned them from an adult in their life. This incident is yet another disappointing reminder of the vast amount of work to be done to eliminate racism in our community.
We will continue our efforts to promote our school district’s vision to prepare every child for lifelong success, which includes treating all people with respect and dignity.