This week offensive graffiti was discovered at Pike High School on two occasions. We are extremely concerned about this behavior and are treating it with all of the seriousness it warrants. In each case, the graffiti was removed immediately, police were engaged, and thorough investigations were launched by our Pike Police and Detective Roth from the IMPD.
Authorities have determined that the incidents may rise to the level of criminal mischief; however, they do not believe they were hate crimes and there is no evidence that they were targeted. We have reason to believe that they were perpetrated by one or two students who may be seeking attention, and that today’s incident was most likely the result of a copycat.
We cannot state strongly enough that this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Regardless of the motive, these deplorable actions are contrary to the values, beliefs, and behaviors of the overwhelming majority of our students at Pike High School. They should in no way be attributed to, or viewed as a reflection upon our students, our schools, or the beautifully diverse community we serve.
We expect everyone associated with our school community to treat others with dignity and respect at all times. As educators, it is important that we view this as a teachable moment. As such, we will continue to work to educate our students about the history and horror associated with this symbol. Additionally, we will work with the Jewish Community Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Jewish Community Relations Council to provide additional opportunities for our students to learn about understanding differences, cultural sensitivity, and collective accountability. In the meantime, it is imperative that any reporting regarding instances such as these includes this vital context as well.