Second instance of ‘hateful graffiti’ discovered at Montgomery County high school

Days after reacting to hateful graffiti at his school, the principal of Gaithersburg High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, said a staff member found a racial slur scratched onto a locker in the boys’ locker room.

In an email to parents, Principal Cary Dimmick said that he is extremely disappointed about a student’s unacceptable decision to deface the locker.

The slur was discovered Sunday and painted over, but it’s the latest in a concerning trend at Montgomery County high schools.

Last week, educators said swastikas were discovered scrawled on a student’s desk at Bethesda Chevy Chase and Magruder high schools.

And last month, someone defaced the entrance to Walt Whitman High School with an antisemitic message.

The incident is prompting county leaders to react.

The county council released a statement that said, in part, “We must uphold the values of diversity and inclusivity that make Montgomery County so special and continue to educate our youth about the importance of respecting these values and understanding the harm these hate acts cause. To ensure we are an inclusive community, we all must become actively conscious about racism and take actions to end racial inequities.”

While he acknowledged the school plans to work with students to understand hateful and hurtful speech and symbols, Dimmick asked parents to have a discussion with their kids about respecting differences.

“Please help them to understand the weight that intolerable symbols, words, and actions carry with them,” Dimmick said. He included a link from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has suggested tools and strategies parents can use to talk with children.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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