Statement of Reading Town Officials Regarding Swastika Incidents at Reading Memorial High School

Below is a joint press release from Town Manager Robert W. LeLacheur, Jr., Police Chief Mark D. Segalla, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. John F Doherty regarding recent swastika graffiti at Reading Memorial High School.

READING — Town Manager Robert W. LeLacheur, Jr., Police Chief Mark D. Segalla, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. John F Doherty report that the Town of Reading is responding swiftly and aggressively after two incidents of swastika graffiti were reported at the Reading Memorial High School in the month of May.

On May 4, students noticed a swastika drawn in blue permanent marker on a classroom floor. The incident was reported to the Reading Police Department and is under investigation.

On the evening of Wednesday, May 24, Reading Police were once again called to investigate a report of a swastika found at the High School. This time, police found a swastika and other graffiti drawn in pen on a cinder block wall of a bathroom in the High School Field House. That incident is also under investigation.

School officials sent a message home to families after the first incident, but this has prompted a larger discussion in town about how people treat each other and how to continuously foster a culture of respect not just in the Reading Public Schools but throughout the community. 

“As leaders in the Town of Reading, we are committed to ridding our community of hate and hateful speech,” Chief Segalla said. “That means we need to come together and have uncomfortable discussions about how we treat each other and what words and symbols really mean. Does the average teenager truly understand the hate and violence associated with a swastika? Perhaps not, but it is incumbent upon us to teach them.”

The Town of Reading has an existing relationship with the New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and will be utilizing its vast resources and expertise in responding to these recent messages of hate and intolerance. 

“We cannot simply write these acts off as isolated incidents. When we ignore hate, it grows,” Superintendent Doherty said. “And while we have reached out to our police department to investigate these incidents, it is not enough for us to identify and punish those responsible. As a school district, we accept that we have a responsibility to dig deeper and teach our children about the topics of hate, racism, and fear. We will continue to use these situations as teachable moments for our students.”

The town has also begun reaching out to local clergy, including an area rabbi, priest, minister, and other members of the religious community to lead a public forum, which will be held in the near future. 

“Our police department, schools, and town officers are wholly committed to creating an atmosphere of acceptance in Reading,” Town Manager LeLacheur said. “Our community is healthiest and is at its best when everyone living, working, and visiting Reading feels safe, secure, and included.”

Nationally, hate speech incidents and acts of Antisemitism have been on the rise recently. 

“The Reading Police Department is committed to the safety of all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, or any other demographic,” Chief Segalla said. “This is the beginning of a dialog, and while we are committed to investigating these hateful acts, we all are better served if we can also prevent such acts from occurring in the future.”

Additional information, including dates, times, and locations of events, will follow.

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of May 21, 2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following days and times next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 5/21/2017

Wednesday May 24 (5:00 – 6:00 p.m.) – RPS Administrative Offices

Friday May 26 (7:00 – 8:00 a.m.) – Coolidge Middle School

All are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-942-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/

Pathways Newsletter for Week of May 21, 2017

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying this beautiful weekend.  Congratulations to all of those families who are celebrating college graduations this month!

Attached is this week’s edition of the Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, we have several local articles including RPS Teachers Completing the Lesley Trauma Course, RISE Preschool Embracing MTSS, an article from the Reading Chronicle on Learning in a New Era, and a corrected article from last week regarding an author visit from the Reading Public Library.  In addition, we have photos and stories from Killam, RMHS, and Parker.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V3N35

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of 5/14/2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following days and times next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 5/14/2017

Wednesday May 17 (2:15 – 3:15 p.m.) – Joshua Eaton School

Wednesday May 17 (5:00 – 6:00 p.m.) – RPS Administrative Offices

All are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-942-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/

Pathways Newsletter for Week of May 14, 2017

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

Happy Mother’s Day!  Attached is a copy of this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, there are stories about the RMHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, the Middle School Jazz Band winning a gold medal, a Killam author visit, and an article about teacher reflection at the end of the school year.  We also have several photos from the music department, the High School, Barrows, Parker, and Wood End.

Have a great day and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V3N34

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of May 7, 2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following days and times next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 5/7/2017

Monday, May 8 (5:00 -6:00 p.m.) – Reading Public Schools Administrative Offices

Thursday, May 11 (7:30-8:30 a.m.)- Killam Elementary School

Saturday, May 13 (9:00-10:00 a.m.) – Reading Public Schools Administrative Offices

All are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-942-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/

 

 

 

Pathways Newsletter for Week of May 8, 2017

Good Evening, Reading Public School Community,

We hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend.  At the link below please find this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, there are several local articles including Town Meeting’s vote on the FY18 Budget, the Special Olympics which was held last week, the appointment of the RISE Preschool Director, recognitions received by the RMHS Boys Swim Coach and by the Barrows Food Service Manager, a heartwarming video, and an article on differentiation.  In addition, there are photos from several RMHS activities.

The month of May is a time designated as Teacher and Staff Appreciation Month.  It is a time when we thank our teachers and other school staff for the work that they do all year with other students. In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we would like to share with you a video called, A World Without Teachers.  This short video (see link below) takes a moment to look back on the teachers in our lives and how they have shaped who we are.

https://youtu.be/RN3iLeq1828

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V3N33

Superintendent’s Office Hours for Week of April 30, 2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following days and times next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 4/30/2017

Wednesday May 3rd (5:00-6:00 p.m.) – Reading Public Schools Administration Offices

Friday May 5th (2:00-3:00 p.m.) – Coolidge Middle School

Saturday May 6th (9:00 – 10:00 a.m.) – Reading Public Schools Administration Offices

All are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-942-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/

Pathways Newsletter for Week of April 30, 2017

Good Evening, Reading Public School Community,

We hope all is well and you are having a great weekend.  Kudos to the Birch Meadow Community for the Inspirational “Together for Tewksbury Event” that was held earlier today.  Over 400 people came and participated in a 5K Walk/Run which raised thousands of dollars for the Jolene Tewksbury Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Below is the link to this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  We have a lot of local news stories this week including the Together for Tewksbury Event, A Veteran’s Journalism Project that was done at RMHS, an article on how Reading MTSS steps into action to address students and stress, the RMHS Marching Band and Color Guard performing at Disney, and next weekend’s RMHS Drama Club show, The Taming of the Shrew.  There is also an article from the National Association of School Psychologists regarding the new Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”-Considerations for Educators.  There are also photos from RMHS and Killam.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Take care.

Pathways Newsletter V3N32

Superintendent’s Office Hours for Week of April 23, 2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following days and times next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 4/23/2017

Monday, April 24th (2:00-3:00 p.m.) – Barrows Elementary School

Monday, April 24th (6:00-7:00 p.m.) – Reading Public Schools Administration Offices

Friday, April 28th (2:00-3:00 p.m.) – Wood End Elementary School

 

All are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-942-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/