Important Notice about JJMS
February 4, 2022
Dear KLSD Community,
We know there are times when our entire community wants and needs to be informed of an event that has occurred in one of our schools. Below is a letter that Principal Swiatowicz has shared with the JJMS community this afternoon.
Be assured that we stand against all forms of hate. We call them out when they occur to shine a light where there is room for growth. We investigate and work with law enforcement to determine who is responsible. We also reaffirm our continuing commitment to building a school community that is ever more understanding, welcoming, and inclusive.
Our efforts will continue. As Principal Swiatowicz advises at the end of his letter, please consider taking time this weekend to talk as a family about the harm of hateful symbols and language as well as the values of compassion, understanding, and empathy.
Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools
Dear JJMS Community,
I am writing today to let you know that at the end of the school day yesterday, one of our teachers found a 2-inch swastika scrawled on a wall in a bathroom stall. The teacher immediately notified an administrator, the graffiti was documented, and police were contacted. We have begun our investigation. We contact the police because there is the possibility that such graffiti is criminal. Whether it's determined to be criminal or not, it is offensive to us, and we want the entire community to know how strongly we condemn such behavior.
As a school, it is our job to educate our students about the impact words and actions can have on others. I will be working with our staff developers and social studies teachers early next week to make sure our entire student population is aware of the impact, both historical and current, of this symbol. I also ask us to remember that middle school students can be aware of controversial topics and still not fully understand the ramifications of their actions.
You may be aware that our school is working with and learning from groups like Facing History and Ourselves which allows our students to have a greater understanding of the impact and harm actions like these can have on individuals, groups, and our community. I am proud of the work we have started, and this event has shown us that we still have more work to do.
We have begun an investigation to determine who is responsible. We will make every effort to identify the person responsible and provide intervention, counseling, and appropriate consequences as necessary. We ask that if anyone has information about this incident, please share it with me by leaving a message at 914-763-7502 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we learn more, I will update the community. I invite all our families to take time this weekend to talk about the values of tolerance and acceptance that I believe we all share.
Jeffrey S. Swiatowicz
Principal - John Jay Middle School