Students discover racial slur at Md. elementary school

WASHINGTON — Parents in Silver Spring, Maryland, are upset over what they call a delay in school officials’ response to a racial slur found written on a bathroom wall last week.

The three third-grade boys discovered the racial slur on the bathroom wall at Sligo Creek Elementary School on Thursday and reported it to their teacher.

“They all came out absolutely frightened and immediately went to their teacher, who they trust, to get some reassurance this problem would be taken care of and the teacher didn’t report it,” said mother Sarah Cohen.

Cohen learned of the incident on Facebook after the mother of one of the children involved posted about it online. Cohen said the mother said she waited to post the information, but she was frustrated she hadn’t heard back from the school.

Cohen’s daughter is also in the third grade.

“To realize even in our school, this can happen, it’s just really sad. It makes me angry this is still happening,” Cohen said of the racist sentiment.

Montgomery County schools spokesman Derek Turner said there are differing reports about what the slur said. WTOP is choosing not to share the language, which was directed at African Americans.

Principal Diantha R. Swift sent a letter home to parents Monday confirming the boys’ teacher failed to inform the main office and that a janitor discovered and removed the graffiti later that same day.

In her letter to parents, Swift writes, “It is offensive. This type of behavior will not be tolerated. However, we want to use this as a teachable moment for our school community.”

Cohen said the feeling among parents is that more needs to be done.

“Having sessions with the kids individually in classes to having maybe focused discussions, uh that kind of action. … An acknowledgment from the school about this mistake and their not taking quick action on this,” she said.

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