Good Evening South Community,
Unfortunately, I write to report to you a disturbing incident that has occurred here at South. At 4:00 p.m. today, a student brought to our attention that there was toilet paper hanging in the shape of a noose in a stall in one of our boys’ bathrooms. We want to acknowledge the responsibility of the student who was thoughtful enough to bring this to an administrator, who then immediately removed it.
Our administrative team has launched an investigation and is currently reviewing camera footage. We encourage any student who has information to contact their dean, counselor, or another trusted adult. We notified the Newton Police Department of this possible hate incident as soon as it was reported to us. Our investigation will also consider the possibility that it could be a student who is reaching out for mental health support. We will continue to follow all possible leads as we investigate this incident.
This is extremely upsetting, to say the least, and comes at a time when our community is working diligently to address issues of discrimination, harassment, and hate. We stand firm against acts like these that are harmful to the entire community and reiterate our commitment to be a safe and welcoming place for all students.
We ask families to have conversations with your children about the impact and historical context of this imagery, as a noose is one of the most powerful symbols of hate against the African American community. In addition, I also worry that a student may be reaching out for help. Please have open and honest conversations about these extremely important issues with your children. We are working with our Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for support and will engage our South Human Rights Council to create opportunities to process and heal. We will share more information as appropriate with students and families in the coming days.
Tamara (Tamii) Stras