Statement from Superintendent Evans regarding antisemitic graffiti at high school

Earlier today, high school administration became aware of antisemitic graffiti in a bathroom at Monticello High School. The bathroom has been closed to student use and is in the process of being cleaned. Law enforcement has been notified and an investigation is underway.  

I am troubled that today’s incident comes on the heels of a similar incident at the high school on May 2. In my statement to the community last week, I reiterated the district’s condemnation of antisemitism; discussed the strategies currently in place to combat hate and intolerance; and promised to build upon those strategies.  

Here are some updates:  

  • The high school’s No Place for Hate Committee will meet next week. No Place for Hate (NPFH) is a designation from The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that schools may earn after utilizing the NPFH’s research-based framework to enhance students’ understanding of diversity, bias and social justice through a series of active learning projects. Community input is an essential part of this process. Any community member who is interested in participating in this committee, please contact MHS Assistant Principal Samantha Lefberg at 845 794 8840 ext. 10929 
  • Administrators have contacted the ADL for assistance with resources, and are planning a school-wide assembly.  
  • High school social studies teachers are working together to develop lesson plans specific to tolerance and eradicating antisemitism and all forms of bigotry. 
  • Students and school staff have been encouraged to report any information or knowledge of these – or future – incidents to high school administrators. The district’s Anonymous Alerts platform is available for individuals who wish to share information anonymously.  
  • High school security staff are performing additional monitoring of all bathrooms in the school. 

There is no place in our schools for antisemitism and acts of hate, and we will continue to investigate and hold those responsible for such incidents accountable.