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Violent statements and swastika found in Anne Arundel County middle school bathroom

School officials release statement on incident
Posted: 10:15 PM, Jan 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-18 03:15:21Z
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SEVERN, Md. — Severn River Middle School officials released a statement to parents and members of their school community regarding anti-Semitic statements found in a boys' bathroom on Thursday afternoon.

According to a letter sent out to parents, the incident was reported by four students who saw statements written on a bathroom wall. One made anti-Semitic statements and the other threatened violence against the middle school.

After being alerted by the students, administrators closed the bathroom and contacted their School Resource Officer to conduct an investigation on the matter. During the investigation a drawing of a swastika was also found on the wall.

Anne Arundel County Police say that they do not believe that this incident is a direct threat or danger to the school.

Officials are working to identify the student or students responsible for the incident.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

January 17, 2019 Dear Parents and Guardians: I am writing to you today to inform you of an incredibly disturbing incident that occurred in one of our boys’ bathrooms. At about 1 p.m., four students reported that they saw two concerning statements written on a bathroom wall. One made anti-Semitic statements and the other threatened violence against our school. We immediately closed off the bathroom in question, contacted our School Resource Officer, and began an investigation. As part of that investigation, administrators found a swastika that had been drawn on the wall. At this time, police do not believe the threat is credible and there is no danger to our school. At no point today did we go into lockdown or change any of our instructional schedules. In addition to speaking with the students who reported the matter, we are reviewing video of the hallway in an attempt to determine who accessed the bathroom and may have possibly created the writings. I assure you that upon identification of a student or students responsible for this despicable act, we will take appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with our Code of Student Conduct. Such action will be separate from any action that may be taken by police. As you are aware, we had an incident in December in which a student wrote hate-filled messages on a desk. I asked you at that time – and I implore you now – to have conversations with your child about the need to embrace our diversity and accept and include every single person. Each one of us has value as a human being. We cannot, must not, and will not allow hate and bigotry to invade our school culture. We as a staff will stand firmly against such instances and I ask you to do the same. After speaking to your child, please relay any pertinent information regarding this or any other matter to our school or police as soon as possible. Please know that our school counselors, as well as the AACPS Office of Student Services, are always available to speak with students and staff about their feelings and concerns regarding the climate of our school. Any safety concern can also be addressed through the Student Safety Hotline at 1-877-676-9854 that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you for everything you do for your child and our school. Sincerely, Richard Tubman Principal