READING (CBS) — A candlelight vigil was held at Reading Memorial High School Saturday night in response to a series of hateful messages that have been found at the school and around town. Hundreds of students, parents, and faculty gathered together to spread a message of kindness, inclusion, and unity.
Parent John Sullivan said, “We want to make sure – all the kids in this town – that they feel safe and that they know that they’re valued and loved in this town.”
Most recently, on Wednesday, a student discovered a racist message on the bathroom wall.
Superintendent John Doherty told WBZ-TV on Friday that hateful vandalism has been a growing problem. “The first two were in early to mid-October, were swastikas which certainly impacted our Jewish community. We did have one last week that was written in a bathroom that impacted our LGBTQ community. And these are threatening remarks. And then the last two, which happened in the last couple of days, have impacted students of color,” he explained.
Sullivan added, “I think it just kind of shows that the town of Reading doesn’t stand for this kind of thing and that the community will come together to denounce these kinds of acts.”
On Wednesday, faculty and students will come together for a town hall-style meeting to openly discuss how to break barriers and bring the student body together.