Gaithersburg High School Sends Community Letter Following Discovery of Hate-Based Graffiti At The School

This article has been updated to also include the community letter sent on January 27 after a swastika was discovered in a classroom at Gaithersburg High School.

Gaithersburg High School principal Cary Dimmick sent a letter to the Gaithersburg High School community expressing disappointment following the discovery of hate-based graffiti at Gaithersburg High School on Monday– the N word was etched into the paint on a locker. The Montgomery County Council also issued a statement today condemning another instance of hate-based graffiti at Gaithersburg High School. The full letter to the Gaithersburg community can be seen below.

“Dear Gaithersburg High School Community – 

I am extremely disappointed to report to you that another instance of hate-based graffiti was discovered today in the boy’s locker room at Gaithersburg High School (GHS). A student made the unacceptable decision to scratch the “N” word into the paint on a locker. Due to the timely reporting by a GHS staff member, the word was quickly removed, and we subsequently informed our Community Education Officer (CEO) Ovalle, the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Office of School Security and Emergency Management (OSSEM), and the MCPS Office of School Support and Well-Being (OSSWB) to assist in the investigation of this serious action.

We are deeply saddened this is the second such instance at Gaithersburg High School in the past week. As we communicated in the January 27th, 2023 Community Letter, student(s) who commit these unacceptable acts will receive strict consequences, as it is important that we continue our work with our students to help them understand the impact of hateful and hurtful words and symbols.  As also communicated, one of our strongest attributes at GHS is our diversity, which we continually celebrate in all areas and programs within our building.  We value and appreciate all of our students and staff, and in order for this to continue to occur, respect has to be evident in our school.  This means that we need to continue to recognize our differences and show understanding, acceptance, and empathy towards each other.  When we use inappropriate words to describe each other, we are not respecting each other, nor are we creating a community of care.  

I encourage parents/guardians to talk with your children about respecting our differences.  Please help them to understand the weight that intolerable symbols, words, and actions carry with them.  HERE is a link for parents of suggested tools and strategies to talk with children about important societal issues.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 301-284-4500.

Sincerely,
Cary Dimmick
Principal”

January 27, 2023:
“Dear Gaithersburg High School Community –

I am extremely disappointed to report to you that a drawing of a swastika was recently discovered in a classroom at Gaithersburg High School (GHS). Due to the timely response by a GHS staff member, it was quickly removed, and we subsequently informed our Community Education Officer (CEO) Ovalle, the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Office of School Security and Emergency Management (OSSEM), and the MCPS Office of School Support and Well-Being (OSSWB) to assist in the investigation of this serious action.

We are deeply saddened this news comes on the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Amid a tide of rising antisemitism in our country and our local community, we remind ourselves that education is a large part of the answer. As stated in the MCPS Community Message today, “in MCPS, our curriculum teaches students about the seeds of antisemitism, the history of state-sponsored violence and ethnic cleansing, and the varied responses from international governments, including the United States.”

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