Photo: The open house at Belmont Middle and High School Saturday, Oct. 23
Belmont High School officials reacted quickly to the writing of racist graffiti during a public open house of the high school wing of Belmont Middle and High School on Saturday, Oct. 23.
“The use of any racial slur is not in line with our values at Belmont High School,” said High School Principal Isaac Taylor in a press release dated Tuesday, Oct. 26. “We are committed to becoming a school community where all people feel welcomed, celebrated, and supported.”
According to Taylor, during the second of three open houses to provide the public a view of the new building’s interior, two students, one BHS and one from another school, entered the building and made their way to an unsupervised area in the library.
“While in the space, the student from another school wrote a message containing a racial slur. This slur was directed to our black and brown students and families with the use of the ‘n’ word,” said Taylor. The pair was approached by a custodian at which time they ran off. The message was removed before students and staff entered the building on Monday. The students movement and actions were captured on camera, which were reviewed by the school administration.
Isaac outlined the actions by the administration to the event which included:
- Meeting with the Belmont student and their family, where consequences were assigned.
- Belmont police was notified via the School Resource Officer.
- The headmaster of the school where the other student attends was notified of his student’s involvement.
- Contacting and partnering with Chon’tel Washington, the district’s Director of Equity and Inclusion.
- Reaching out to the school’s liaisons at the Belmont Human Rights Commission who can serve as a resource to anyone in the community.
Isaac said the administration will also review event policies and school security to ensure that students cannot gain access to unsupervised areas after school hours.
“Please know that we are here for you,” said Isaac. “Students, please feel free to reach out to any trusted adult at the high school. Your guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators are here for you. There are also other resources available to anyone in Belmont; you are always free to reach out to the Belmont Human Rights Commission for support.