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Threatening graffiti with Islamic reference investigated at Severna Park Middle School

Posted at 1:36 PM, Dec 07, 2016
Graffiti found in one of the bathrooms at Severna Park Middle School contained a threat to the school and an Islamic reference, school officials said Wednesday. 
 
Officials would not say what the nature of the threat was or who it was against but could only say that it was not derogatory to Muslims. 
 
Principal Sharon Hansen sent out a letter to parents Tuesday after the graffiti was found. 
 
"We will continue to investigate this matter aggressively, and I am asking you to speak with your child and convey any pertinent information to our school as soon as possible," Hansen wrote in the letter. 
 
Here is the letter in full: 
 
Dear Severna Park Middle School Parents and Guardians:  
This email is to let you know about two disturbing pieces of graffiti that were found in one of our bathrooms today. The writings, done in an ink pen, contain a threat to the school and an Islamic reference.  
We were alerted to this issue at about 11:25 a.m. today when a student told one of our staff members. That staff member alerted the administration, and we immediately closed off the bathroom and notified county police. That bathroom has not yet been reopened.  
In the course of our investigation today, we have interviewed a handful of students. We will continue to investigate this matter aggressively, and I am asking you to speak with your child and convey any pertinent information to our school as soon as possible.  
While I cannot discuss the specific nature of the threat and we did not make a schoolwide announcement of it because doing so could hamper our investigation, please be assured that it did not rise to the level where an evacuation of our school was deemed necessary. Had that been the case, we obviously would have done so.  
Still, this is a matter we take very, very seriously. It is not only disruptive to our school day, but it is not a reflection of the environment we seek to create every day at Severna Park Middle School.  
I will keep you apprised of developments in this investigation as necessary. If, in the course of your discussions with your child or anyone else, you learn of information that could be helpful in this investigation, please email me at shansen@aacps.org.   
 

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