School officials: Hateful symbols and words found in Northport HS bathroom
Several hateful words and symbols were found in a bathroom at Northport High School Thursday evening, school officials say.
Robert Banzer, superintendent of the Northport-East Northport School District, sent a letter home to parents describing the incident. He says a swastika as well as racial and homophobic slurs were found.
The Suffolk County Hate Crime unit was called in to investigate the incident.
District officials say it's the second incident of its kind since the school year began.
Banzer says the custodial staff worked hard to remove the hateful words and symbols.
Chrissy Ruggeri is one of eight founding members of "Not in our Town Northport," a local chapter of a national organization focused on preventing these types of things from occurring.
"A lot of people will say it's just kids being kids and that is not an excuse," says Ruggeri. "If anything it's a call to action. It means we need to do a better job educating these kids why these symbols are hateful and hurtful."
The school principal held an assembly to discuss the findings with students and staff.
The letter from the superintendent also said that the district will be forming an advisory committee composed of district staff, parents and community residents to deepen its collective understanding of dignity, belonging and inclusion for all throughout the school community.