PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Police are investigating racist graffiti found in a bathroom stall at Perrysburg High School.
Superintendent Thomas Hosler released a letter saying it was found Wednesday afternoon.
Hosler said the district immediately started investigating and then called police.
Hosler stressed there is no tolerance for this behavior and the district will work to confront hate.
The entire press release follows:
Dear Families, Employees and Community Members,
On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Perrysburg High School officials were made aware of racist graffiti in a restroom stall at the school.
It is heartbreaking to share this news but it is important for us as a school community to be transparent about the incident, publicly state there is no tolerance for this behavior and work collectively to confront hate whenever and wherever it reveals itself.
In following our school district’s policies, school administration immediately began an investigation and contacted the Perrysburg Police Division. Perrysburg Schools treats all forms of hate speech seriously. Our response is swift, thorough and seeks to hold those responsible for the vandalism accountable. Ensuring a safe school environment for all students and employees is paramount in each step.
We value all students and their rights throughout the process. Many matters have confidential aspects that prevent us from sharing details, which can be frustrating, understandably. School districts are very limited with what we can share with the public. We cannot disclose most student information, including discipline, per the “Family Educational Right to Privacy Act" (FERPA), a federal privacy law. Also, once the police are involved, we cannot typically comment further than the police's public statement when there is an ongoing investigation.
It is the policy of the Board of Education to maintain an environment that is free from all forms of harassment. This commitment applies to all school district operations, programs and activities. All students, administrators, teachers, staff members and other school personnel share responsibility for avoiding, discouraging and reporting any form of unlawful harassment. We are grateful that this graffiti was reported and responded to quickly.
Perrysburg Schools strives to maintain a diverse and professional environment where all students, families and employees feel included and are free from harassment and discrimination. Not only does our response to incidents matter, but we feel strongly that our efforts each and every day in maintaining this welcoming environment matter.
I am deeply saddened by what happened and am discouraged by the actions of one or few. We as a school community work very hard to take steps to ensure ALL students achieve their greatest potential. Our diversity, equity and inclusion work was strengthened when we formed a cultural intelligence team, the CQ CommUNITY. From that, the group has planned professional development, led book studies and have made recommendations to address social justice-related issues. The Perrysburg Board of Education recently formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee that meets to exclusively discuss issues in this area.
As a school community, we strive to do our very best to create an environment that is welcoming for all students. In cases where students and families are made to feel that this is not the case, we acknowledge that sometimes despite our best efforts, we fall short. However, we are an organization that is willing to stand for what is right. Moving forward, the school district will continue to investigate and work with authorities to address this situation.
Thomas L. Hosler