Antisemitic Graffiti Found at Magruder High School

Antisemitic graffiti was found on a desk today at Colonel Zadok Magruder High School at 5939 Muncaster Mill Rd in Derwood. This is the fourth time in the past week that antisemitic graffiti was found at a Montgomery County Public School, as over the weekend, MCPS sent out a message alerting the community that drawings of swastikas were recently found on desks at at three separate MCPS schools. Magruder Principal Dr. Leroy C. Evans sent the following message to Magruder students and families:

“Good afternoon Magruder High School Families,
I am writing to share preliminary information regarding a very serious racially insensitive incident that is under investigation.  Today, anti-Semitic graffiti was located on a student desk. We are in the early stages of our investigation at this time. We will be speaking with students who may have information regarding this incident.

Given the seriousness of this incident and heightened concerns around racial insensitivity and anti-Semitism, we seek parent support and involvement in speaking with your children in our efforts to eliminate this hateful and harmful behavior.

We are committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment for all our students and staff. Bullying, harassment and intimidation, whether in person or online, will not be tolerated at Magruder High School, and is subject to serious disciplinary actions in alignment with the MCPS Student Code of Conduct.

Please do not hesitate to share anything you believe may be a concern to our school community. As a reminder, if you see something, say something. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school at 240-740-5550.

Sincerely, Dr. Leroy C. Evans,
Principal”

MCPS and the Board of Education released the following statement on Saturday:
“Montgomery County Public Schools, Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight and the Board of Education condemn all acts of antisemitism in any form. This week, swastikas were drawn on student desks at three separate schools. In each case, students and the staff addressed the vile impact of the hateful images, worked to immediately remove the drawings, and in each case, appropriate discipline in alignment with the MCPS Student Code of Conduct was assigned. More important than disciplinary action, however, is what we do in response. As we fight these repeated acts of hate, we must challenge one another to learn and understand what antisemitism, hatred, and racism are and the harm they cause.

These specific three instances are not the first this year in which the Jewish community in our county and our schools have experienced acts of antisemitic hate or bias. We must do more, and we will. In collaboration with advocates such as the Jewish Community Relations Council, we will continue our efforts to educate our students about antisemitism. Our schools have held and will continue to hold restorative conversations with students and staff, and schools have held community meetings to discuss incidents, but honest and forthright conversations must continue. As a community, we must speak loudly and together against antisemitism and all acts of hate and racism. We must be inclusive and welcoming of everyone in our diverse and vibrant community. Our differences make us stronger and better and make our community an exciting place to live; there is no room for hate.

To learn and to do so at high levels, all students must feel physically and, yes, emotionally safe. When they experience anxiety because of acts of hatred, they can’t be at their best in their classroom. We must embrace the work necessary to ensure our scholars are in safe and welcoming school environments.

Our schools, school leaders, and board of education members stand together in solidarity to condemn antisemitism, hate, and racism—always.”

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Feature photo courtesy of Google Maps.

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