Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Franklin Public Schools: Letter to Franklin Families and Faculty

Dear Franklin Families and Faculty:

We are deeply saddened to inform you that over the past week, graffiti depicting swastikas has been discovered on a playground at one of our schools (Remington/Jefferson) and in the entryway of another school (Keller/Sullivan). Following the discovery of these hateful symbols, we started our own independent investigations to determine who is responsible for these terrible acts. We also contacted the Franklin Police Department and we are fully cooperating with the police and their investigation.

Jefferson playground
Jefferson playground

We find this graffiti to be extremely disturbing, disrespectful and inconsistent with the diverse and inclusive community that makes up the Franklin Public Schools. If our investigation concludes that a school member is responsible for these acts, we will impose disciplinary consequences consistent with our student code of conduct and take other remedial measures to restore a sense of security and support for all. If the police determine which individual(s) perpetrated these behaviors there could be significant legal consequences as well.

We will continue to be vigilant in order to protect our school community with the safety and security measures that are in place continually. We will also work to remedy the negative impact of these events by working with local community partners and using our school resources to respond at both a school level and a community level.

Please know that the Franklin Public Schools is no place for hate, bias or for the disregard of the civil rights of all individuals. We work tirelessly to teach tolerance at school and will reinforce our core values in the days, weeks and years ahead. As this is a wider community issue, we are asking for your help and support to change attitudes and eliminate hateful speech and senseless depictions of symbols that hurt individuals and groups. Words and actions matter and we need to reinforce the values of tolerance and respect across all of Franklin.
Keller Sullivan school sign
Keller Sullivan school sign

If you have any information to share regarding the graffiti, please contact the Franklin Police Department at 508- 528-1212 and/or the Superintendent's Office at 508 -553-4819. If your child needs support to address these events, please contact your child's guidance counselor or an administrator at your child's school.

As we are deeply concerned about these hateful and disrespectful actions, the Franklin Public Schools has engaged with the Anti-Defamation League to establish a process for training students, faculty and administration in confronting bias in school and in the community. Teams from our three middle schools will engage in training this summer. Additionally this program will enable the training of our students to become peer leaders and trainers skilled in running anti-bias programs for other students and parents. There are plans for FHS to commit to this program as well. We anticipate this program will be impactful on all stakeholders and will propel positive change in our schools and community. You can expect to hear more about this initiative in the fall.

Thank you for supporting our school community and for your assistance in facing this issue.

Maureen Sabolinski, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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