SOUTHINGTON - A student at Southington High School has been disciplined for spraying a swastika on a sidewalk behind the school.
Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan wrote to parents and staff at the school to inform them of the incident, which he said occurred Tuesday evening at approximately 6 p.m.
“A student who had been attending an after-school extracurricular activity borrowed a can of spray deodorant from another student and used that substance to spray the image of a swastika on the sidewalk outside the back of the building,” said Connellan. “The student then tried unsuccessfully to wipe away the swastika. Just at that time, a family member arrived at school to pick up the student who was transported off school grounds.”
Connellan said that the swastika was discovered at approximately 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning and was reported to security.
“The school resource officer responded to the scene immediately,” he said. “The swastika was covered up during student arrival and the area was thoroughly cleaned by the maintenance department. Security camera video was reviewed and the student was clearly identifiable in the video. When interviewed, the student admitted to drawing the swastika because the student ‘thought it was funny.’”
Connellan said that the student responsible was given “immediate consequences” as the first step in the disciplinary process. He said that the incident continues to be under further review and that other disciplinary consequences are under consideration.
“We are probably all aware of the recent incidents in the past week in Darien, Westport and Hamden, in which anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered,” he said. “As a community, we do not think of actions such as these as ‘funny.’ They are, in fact, deplorable and these symbols of hatred have no place in our public schools. The Southington Public Schools strive to welcome, accept and make safe every student, every staff member and every parent. We simply will not tolerate this type of behavior which is an expression of hatred and intolerance. As a school community, we must continue to teach and have dialogue about these issues. We are certainly going to consult with some of our Coalition for Social Justice partners regarding next steps that we can take with our students.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.