Wilton began the healing process following last Thursday’s heart-wrenching event, when a note reading “Jews Will Burn” was placed on the locker of a Middlebrook 6th grade student. Almost immediately, school and town officials responded, condemning the act and addressing how the community will come together to not only to repudiate such hate, but how to move forward. Many spoke out against not only that act, but also against other recent displays of uncivil behavior, including a fight at a Wilton High School soccer game that led to the arrest of a Wilton parent, and other disrespectful interactions on social media.

So too did community leaders express their support for Wilton’s Jewish community, prime among them members of the clergy. Residents began to speak out on social media and put forward healing messages saying that Wilton won’t be defined by incivility and anti-Semitism.  They shared stories of many acts of kindness, inclusion and love and promoted the phrase “Wilton Strong.”

Perhaps the most moving display of love and standing up in the face of hate came from the children of Wilton, especially those in Middlebrook. They took to the hallways to post notes of love on lockers and walls all over the school. Post-its with hearts and positive messages covered the surfaces and inspirational sayings written by students appeared on SMART boards. Hashtags expressing #LoveNotHate spread on social networks. A video pledging unity and acceptance produced by an 8th grade teacher and her students showed the attitude the school wants the world to see instead of what it was shown on Thursday.


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