Racist, homophobic, antisemitic graffiti found in Danvers middle school bathroom

"This hate crime and type of hateful behavior has no place in our Danvers Schools or any place in our community."

Racist, antisemitic, and homophobic graffiti was found in a student bathroom at Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers.

The graffiti included two swastikas, plus racist and homophobic statements, according to a letter from community leaders, including the chairs of the School Committee and the town’s Human Rights and Inclusion Committee, as well as the schools superintendent and town manager.

Officials noted that the town would pursue options for “student discipline and legal action, as well as counseling/therapeutic support for the individual(s) responsible.”

“This hate crime and type of hateful behavior has no place in our Danvers Schools or any place in our community,” the letter said. “It will not be tolerated. We are incredibly disappointed that this type of behavior has occurred in our school and understand the frustration of the community.”


The incident was discussed with students on Tuesday, with more work set for Wednesday and the rest of the school year, the letter said.


The incident comes in the wake of a Boston Globe report that found Danvers officials may have concealed from the public details of disturbing alleged racist and sexual abuse among members of the high school’s varsity boys’ hockey team.

Other incidents acknowledged in the letter from community leaders included accusations of racial profiling at a local business, what appeared to be a noose outside of a church, a swastika found in the woods behind the middle school, and a Confederate flag flown during a political rally.

“Individually, they are ugly, unacceptable, and have no place in Danvers,” the letter said. “Collectively they are proof that there’s much work to be done.”

The town says it’s working on various community measures, including events from its Human Rights Committee, devising a report with local stakeholders on how to make sure Danvers is a “welcoming community,” and filling a Director of Equity and Inclusion position by the end of this year.

“This incident, as well as those over the past few years, reinforce the urgency of the work ahead of us,” the letter said.


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