This morning we reported that a drawing of a swastika was found on a desk at Silver Creek Middle School in Kensington on Thursday. We now know that there were two additional incidents of swastikas being drawn on desks at Montgomery County Public Schools over the past week. 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.”
- Antisemitism Explained: National Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Teaching Materials on Antisemitism and Racism: National Holocaust Memorial Museum
Feature photo courtesy of Google Maps.