District: Gardner students received racist and pornographic messages in email blast

The emails were sent to about 5,000 people, and made a threat against one of the district's schools.

Gardner school district officials said they are “horrified” after students and families received messages that included “hate, violence and racism.”

The emails were sent using a family communication tool the district had contracted with through an outside vendor, and which officials have since turned off, according to the school district in a Facebook post.

We are working with police to identify the author of these atrocious communications to ensure we respond appropriately,” the post said. “Messages of hate and violence are not tolerated in our school community. At this time, we ask our families and the public at large to know that the owner of the email account is not necessarily the author of these emails.”

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The emails included things like child pornography and racial slurs, a student told WHDH.

Gardner police began fielding calls related to an email around 12:35 a.m. on Saturday. It included racist phrases and threats against one of the schools, and was sent to over 5,000 people, police said. Another email reportedly went out around 1 a.m. to the same recipients. It allegedly said the incident threatened in the first email would take place Sunday, and it also included “extremely graphic images that appear to be taken from the internet.”

Police didn’t find any threats at school buildings after checking them. The investigation is continuing.

Schools principals were planning to reach out to families to support them, if needed, the Facebook post said.

“While some staff will be needed to help with the investigation, our primary focus will be to support our students, staff, and families,” according to the post. “Seeing such graphic images and messages of hate can be traumatic for any of us, especially in these times of civil unrest and violence. The district’s priority is to meet our community’s social-emotional needs.”

The Gardner Public School District is horrified at the emails that were sent to our children and families through a…

Posted by Gardner Public Schools on Saturday, January 23, 2021

Posted by Gardner Police Department on Saturday, January 23, 2021

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