“This afternoon, while I was in our Antisemitism Working Group committee meeting in Albany, it was brought to our attention that back home in Rockland County, there were two incidents of swastikas being drawn in Clarkstown High School South this past month. This news was very upsetting to my colleagues and me. Antisemitism and intolerance have no place in Rockland. We must do more to educate our youth to ensure that prejudice never becomes acceptable. See letter from the Clarkstown Central School District below for context.
Office of Senator Bill Weber – District 38
163 Airport Executive Park
Nanuet, NY 10954
Letter From Clarkstown Central School District
Dear Clarkstown Families,
We are writing to let you know of two separate anti-Semitic incidents reported during the past month at Clarkstown High School South. Both incidents involved the discovery of swastikas on classroom walls and in a locker room. In both incidents, a member of our school community notified an administrator, the graffiti was documented and a police report was filed.
In the Clarkstown Central School District, it is our job to educate students about the impact words, symbols and actions may have on others. In some cases, hateful gestures like these may constitute a crime, and to the extent possible, Clarkstown Police are included.
We have addressed each of the impacted classes to ensure the administration’s commitment to provide a safe learning environment for all students, and to remind students to say something to a staff member if they should witness intolerance.
We would like to further remind students and families that any hateful actions or behaviors in our schools can be anonymously reported with Anonymous Alerts®, the anti-bullying and safety reporting app and system. Students, parents and staff members can gain access to the service with an easy activation code provided by the district. Click here to download the app for free, access and find further information on Anonymous Alerts®.
At Clarkstown High School South, our World of Difference Peer Leaders teach their fellow students how “… attitudes and beliefs affect actions, and that each of us can have an impact on others, and ultimately on the world in which we live.” We encourage parents and guardians to have a conversation with their children so that our students learn to recognize hate and discrimination for what it is.
We encourage all families to take time during the upcoming break to talk about the values of tolerance and acceptance.
A swastika is a symbol of hatred, intolerance and anti-Semitism — and it has no place in the Clarkstown Central School District. While these despicable acts may have defaced our physical campus, this will not deter us from fostering a more inclusive, empathetic and respectful school community.
Marc P. Baiocco, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools
Clarkstown Central School District
Mrs. Debra Tarantino
Clarkstown High School South