Late on Monday, Sept. 8, Wilton High School principal Robert O’Donnell emailed home a letter to parents and the school community notifying them that a swastika had been discovered etched on a student locker.
In the letter to students, educators and parents, O’Donnell wrote that, “the community was deeply troubled and saddened to discover a swastika etched on a student locker. I am writing to inform you about the incident, express my genuine concern and discuss the actions we will take going forward.”
According to the letter, the administration “prioritized” the investigation during the day, and “the affected locker panel was replaced immediately to minimize disruption of the learning environment. We identified the responsible party and assessed the impact on those immediately affected. We also consulted with the Wilton Police Department, through our school resource officer.”
According to some parents of high school students with whom GMW.com spoke, their children hadn’t been aware of the incident during school hours. It wasn’t until the email from O’Donnell arrived home that they learned what had happened.
As for steps the school will take, it’s early to assess specifics but O’Donnell wrote that the school is “crafting a plan that will address the distress many of us feel.” As for consequences, he stated that, “The plan will include consequences for behavior that violates our discipline code, but will exceed a merely punitive stance.”
He reiterated the school’s mission, writing it “is to ensure a nurturing, respectful environment in which we foster scholarship, character and citizenship. That mission requires an atmosphere free of prejudice, cruelty and intolerance. It is now time to create a shared vision about what steps will follow. We want all students to develop intellect and compassion, thereby creating a world generously lit by both. Symbols of hatred, racism and anti-Semitism have no place in that vision. Like all sensible and just people, we consider publication of hate symbols to be a rank obscenity under any conditions anywhere. That revulsion is magnified when the symbol in question is found in a public school.”
GMW.com will reach out to Wilton School officials, Wilton Police and other community leaders for further comment and bring you more on the story.
We have included the letter below as an image. Click to enlarge.