Hate Incident at South

Dear NSHS Community,

At the end of the school day today, we found a swastika carved into a wrestling mat that was located in our gym. This symbol of hate is tremendously upsetting, a day after International Holocaust Rememberance Day and on the heels of the hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas. I know some members of our community are also aware that two swastikas were found in the boys bathroom at Brown Middle School earlier this week. We recognize the pain and suffering that this image represents and invokes and I am horrified that this happened in our school community.

We have contacted the Newton Police Department and are conducting a full investigation. We take this incident very seriously and are following all of our established protocols and procedures.

In addition, we will be offering spaces for students and adults to process this incident through our advisory block on Monday as well as our WIN blocks throughout the week. Our South Human Rights Council, in conjunction with our Jewish Staff Affinity Group, will be taking the lead in facilitating this work. We will share more specific information about these opportunities with students and staff.

I want to assure you that we as a school and district are deeply committed to addressing issues of hate and discrimination. I know this act of anti-semitism is quite upsetting, and it saddens and angers me to have to even communicate this news. I am confident our South community will come together during this difficult time and hold steadfast in our values of listening first, showing respect, taking responsibility and most of all choosing kindness.


Tamara Stras Principal