Swastika etched into classroom table at Ridgefield High School

Ridgefield High School students have been dismissed Thursday, May 30.
Ridgefield High School students have been dismissed Thursday, May 30.

A swastika was found etched in a table in a classroom Ridgefield High School earlier this week, prompting Principal Stacey Gross to communicate with students, staff and parents emphasizing the school’s inclusive values.

"I wish to emphasize that those who create such statements serve to offend all of us in our Ridgefield High School community and this will never be considered acceptable behavior," Dr. Gross said in a Sept. 7 email.

It marks the second time in six months that anti-Semitic markings were found on school grounds.

Back on March 29, Gross wrote to parents about a swastika and both racist and anti-Semitic graffiti that were found on the outside of Ridgefield High School.

"As I have stated previously, I know that you understand that these acts, and similar ones towards any group, attempt to weaken our conscience, poison our spirit, and destroy the freedom of all of us," the principal said. "They are actions intended to demean and diminish members of our community, the people that we live side by side with every day of the school year.  This type of behavior does not represent the type of school that we strive to be. I know that you join with me in saying, 'We will not allow our school to become a platform for hatred and intolerance of any group. Furthermore, we will not be bystanders to humiliation, and we will not be silent to the suffering of others.

"As our nation, state, and town struggle with similar situations in every sector, I ask that you join with me in working towards putting an end to this behavior by addressing it when you witness it and reporting it to proper authorities when you see it," Gross said.  

The RHS principal told parents that she will be working with district administration, local clergy and town leaders, faculty, students, clubs, and the student government to explore ways to address and prevent these types of behavior.

"Our partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and their NAMES Day program and additional professional development provided for our staff serve to further this cause," she said. "I trust that you will partner with us in creating an environment that is safe, secure, and respectful for everyone."

The Press is awaiting reaction from local religious and town leaders, as well as RHS students.

Please check back into theridgefieldpress.com later today for more updates.