Wednesday night Rye High School custodians found racist graffiti in a second floor bathroom. School boss Eric Byrne said he was “deeply saddened” and that “Hateful language is not and will never be tolerated in our schools.”
A fundraising poster had been defaced with the words, “No n—–s allowed.” There is an active investigation, and the district is encouraging anyone with information to contact the Rye PD.
The news comes in the wake of continuing work on the district’s Race Task Force and the decision to fly the Pride flag on city flagpoles for Pride month starting this June. It has been a year since a crowd of over 1,000 people gathered for a Black Lives Matter march and a series of speeches on the Rye village green.
Date: Thu, May 13, 2021 at 1:01 PM
Subject: Hateful Graffiti Found at Rye High School
To: Rye City School District Recipients
Dear RCSD Community,
I am deeply saddened to inform you that late last night, a custodian found that a poster in a second-floor bathroom at Rye High School announcing a Class of 2022 fundraiser at Chipotle restaurant had been defaced with the words, “No n—–s allowed.” It is not yet clear to us if any student(s) saw the graffiti. We are reviewing security footage to learn more. We have also notified the Rye Police. If you have information to share, I encourage you to contact the anonymous Rye Police Department tip line at: email@example.com or by texting to TIP411. You may also contact RHS Principal Dr. Fitzgerald or Assistant Principal Dr. Zegarelli at fitzgerald.martin@ryeschools.
Hateful language is not and will never be tolerated in our schools. Schools must be a place where all students feel welcome, safe, accepted, and valued, no matter their race, creed, ethnicity, identity, or orientation. As a District, we are working to help our students be sensitive, respectful, and compassionate citizens of the world. I encourage you to have conversations around this topic at home, as we will be having conversations at the High School.
Dr. Martin Fitzgerald, the Interim High School Principal, will be addressing the entire RHS student body, faculty, and staff to be sure all are aware of what was found and to condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Students and staff will be asked to begin thinking about how best to come together as a community to stand up against acts of hatred.
I share your sadness and distress at even a single occurrence of such behavior in our schools, but we continue to believe that through partnership and education, progress will be made.
Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools