Glastonbury town and school leaders are working to address a possible hate crime at Gideon Welles School. On Monday, two students discovered multiple swastikas etched in wood paneling in the front of the school’s auditorium.
School leaders say at least three swastikas were identified earlier this week. The markings have since been removed along with other inappropriate graffiti. Administrators say they are not sure when the carvings happened.
Gideon Welles parents are condemning hateful symbols found inside the school’s auditorium, including Marcia Perel who has a daughter that attends the school.
“These markings do not belong here,” said Perel.
Perel says she was picking up her daughter from dress rehearsal when she says she overheard two boys mention that they “found Hitler signs on the wall.”
The mother of two says she contacted the principal and the board of education.
By Wednesday, the carvings were removed which Perel believes was a smart move by the school board.
“These hate crimes don’t have any room in our schools,” said Perel. “We should be working to create a better learning environment for our children.”
The concerned mother says she wants to educate rather than persecute the person or group of people that may have completed the hateful actions.
“We must know how to act and react in those situations,” said Perel. “It takes a village to educate, nurture and mold the leaders of tomorrow.”
Parents and Guardians of Gideon Wells Community were sent this statement:
"In regards to making this a teachable moment, we are actively pursuing a partnership with organizations such as the ADL to address the larger issue we have - tolerance. There is a tremendous program for 10th graders at the High School that we hope to marry up with and provide the foundations of understanding to our sixth graders. We plan on doing the work needed to instill in our community that this type of symbol is not tolerated and will be addressed with education and understanding. We are committed to our school standards of CARE, RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY for our students, staff and community.”
The A.D.L is set to host a meeting to educate administrators, parents and students, next Wednesday.