Town of Arlington Announces Resolution to Vandalism and Hate Speech Incident at High School

The following is a statement from Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Police Chief Frederick Ryan, Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Bodie, David Swanson, Naomi Greenfield, Human Rights Commission Co-Chairs, and Anna Watson, LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, Chairperson:

Two weeks ago, a disturbing discovery of criminal vandalism and hate speech was made at Arlington High School.

Arlington Police responded to the incident on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 5:42 a.m. to investigate a report of damage and graffiti. Investigating police officers noted that someone or a group of people had entered the building, likely overnight. Several fire extinguishers had been used and damaged, and there was damage to vending machines, display cases, and an emergency defibrillator inside the school. Spray paint was also used inside and outside of the school.

One swastika and two anti-gay slurs were painted outside of the building.

The police department and school district opened an investigation and 14 male students were quickly identified as the suspects responsible for the break-in, vandalism, and hate speech.

Reflecting on this situation, identifying those responsible for these acts was a matter of investigatory procedure. The difficult task now lay in determining the proper response and consequences for those responsible – be it any combination of punishment, restitution, and repair of the breach of peace, security, and sense of safety in the community.