The phrase “the n—– must die” was found written into the concrete on the steps of Brighton High School Tuesday morning, according to a report in the Democrat and Chronicle.
Authorities reportedly said they will be treating the incident as a hate crime.
According to Brighton Central Schools Superintendent Kevin McGowan, school officials removed the writing this morning, and then notified police.
McGowan said school officials did not feel students were in danger at any point during the school day Tuesday, and he sent the following letter home to parents:
I am writing to you today with more disturbing and saddening news regarding a hateful act at school. Earlier today, a racially motivated threat as part of an act of vandalism was found outside the front doors of Brighton High School. We immediately contacted the Brighton Police Department and began a thorough investigation with their assistance.
The police are investigating this matter as a hate crime. A threat assessment was conducted and it was determined that no immediate danger existed. However, it is abundantly clear that although an immediate threat does not exist, the words used and the hate articulated are deplorable in every way.
I am very sorry to be sharing this information with you. Personally and professionally, I am deeply disappointed to be acknowledging that an act such as this can and did happen in our schools. We thought that it was important for you to be aware of this specific act and the need for this topic to be addressed both in school and at home.
We need to be better. All of us, every day. As educators and caregivers, we have a responsibility to help prepare students to be active members of society that will contribute to the greater good. Embracing each other’s differences and celebrating who each of us are in every way should be our focus. As a society, we have a considerable amount of work to do in treating everyone with respect, dignity, and kindness. This is not the first time that we have experienced an act such as this. Let it be the last.
We have been so proud to be a district where we have so many differences in race, culture, creed, and gender. We have long celebrated our diversity while reinforcing the Brighton Believes values of integrity, respect, responsibility, kindness, and self-control. Today is no different. However, if we are to improve in this area, and we must, it will be important to reexamine our practices and our approaches to this work.
Thank you in advance for your support and for any way that you can continue to have important discussions at home about these issues.
Kevin C. McGowan, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools