A racial slur and a swastika were found etched into a toilet paper dispenser in a bathroom at the Sleepy Hollow Middle High School on Monday according to a letter sent by Tarrytown schools Superintendent Christopher Borsari to the community on Thursday. The defacement was found by a custodial staff member who reported it to the administration.
Borsari said the dispenser was replaced and an investigation was opened and the expression of hate and intolerance was condemned. “Although it should go without saying, I want to be clear that the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns condemns all expressions of hate and intolerance,” Borsari said in the letter. “We are extremely proud of the inclusive and welcoming environment which is promoted in our schools, and will not tolerate any group or individual being made to feel that they are not accepted because of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”
State Sen. David Carlucci, D-Westchester/Rockland, said in a statement that the root causes of acts of anti-Semitism need to be addressed. “As we see acts of anti-Semitism continue weekly and sometimes daily, we have to be looking to address root causes. Its sad this happened among children as young as middle schoolers. This is why I am very strongly pushing to pass legislation to bring age appropriate instruction about hate symbols like swastikas and nooses into classroom education. Hate is a learned behavior, and we can teach against it.”