Officials Investigate Discovery Of Swastika At Wilton High School

September 12, 2014

Article as it appeared in the Weston Daily Voice

WILTON, Conn. – State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) called on the Wilton community to not tolerate hate crimes after the discovery of a swastika etched into a locker at Wilton High School this week.

“At a time when the world’s eyes are on tensions in the Middle East and anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head, this should never be tolerated; we should use this as a teachable moment to bring the history of Israel and its struggles to our students,” Boucher said in a statement.

“Sadly, hate crimes can take place anywhere, and the measure of a community is not whether they occur, but how a community responds.”

Boucher is the ranking member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee.

Wilton High School principal Robert O’Donnell emailed a letter to parents and the school community late Monday about the incident, according to the school’s website.

“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,” O’Donnell said in the letter.
The locker was replaced, and the person responsible was identified, the letter said.

He said the school also consulted with the Wilton Police Department, through the school resource officer. The person responsible will be punished, he said.

The “plan will include consequences for behavior that violates our discipline code, but will exceed a merely punitive stance,” O’Donnell said. “We have an opportunity, no matter how ill-conceived, to renew and augment our school’s dialogue around the perils of intolerance and the importance of respecting the dignity of all persons and groups.”

He reiterated the school’s intolerance for the incident.

“Symbols of hatred, racism and anti-Semitism have no place” in a public school, he wrote in the letter. “Our school’s mission 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.”

The full text of the letter can be read here at the Wilton School District website.