RHAM High School Hosting Community Meeting After ‘Racially Charged' Message Found

The superintendent told parents in a letter that a racially charged message was found on a bathroom stall last week.

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RHAM High School in Hebron is hosting a community conversation Tuesday night, days after a student discovered a racially charged message in the school.

Colin McNamara, superintendent of Regional School District 8, sent a letter to the school community last week notifying them of the message. According to the letter, a student found the writing scratched on to a bathroom stall door.

"The writing was very difficult to read due to the thin and light script, and it appears the message may not have been written recently," McNamara wrote in the letter.

The district immediately reported the incident to state and local police along with DCF, McNamara said.

"Our district does not tolerate hateful behavior or actions, and we hope to identify the individual responsible to hold
them accountable," McNamara wrote in a statement shared with NBC Connecticut. "The safety and well-being of students is our top priority, and RHAM is not a place where discriminatory or harassing words or actions are acceptable."

The discovery of the racially charged message comes months after a noose was found inside a RHAM High School locker room.

Since November, the superintendent said the district has taken several steps to engage in dialogue to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Tuesday night the district is hosting a community conversation with a guest speaker who will focus on the power of words. February 16 the high school will host its first "Respect Day", focusing on treating each other with kindness and dignity.

The Board of Education has also received presentations and facilitated focus groups centered on what the school can do to celebrate the diversity of the school community, McNamara said.

In November, after the noose was found at RHAM, NAACP leaders held a press conference at the school and met with leaders.

“There is a problem there that has to be addressed," said Rodney Alexander Jr., Vice President of the Windham/Willimantic Branch of the NAACP.

Alexander said that he is eager to meet with the district leadership again and find ways, through education programs, to help them address the behavior.

“School should be a place where you feel safe where you can learn not having to look over your shoulder," said Alexander. “We have to work together to put a stop to this.”

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