By Bill Shields

NEWTON (CBS) –In deep blue Newton, it’s easy to find yard signs denouncing racism. So when it was found out a student at Burr Elementary School used a racial slur against a Black student, it set off alarms.

“In my experience, with two kids in the system, it’s always been a place that’s welcoming,” said Sue Menbrino.

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A second incident at Burr involved denigration of the Black Lives Matter movement said Newton Public Schools.

The department issued a statement on Tuesday, reading in part: “At Burr and in the Newton Public Schools, we will not tolerate racism or any other discrimination, and recognize the significance of such harmful acts for the safety of the victim, and the community as a whole. The Newton Public Schools has a policy and protocol for reporting and investigating incidents of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and in these cases, Burr administration and faculty followed this process every step of the way. Families of students involved have been notified and they are identifying interventions and supports for the victims and perpetrators.”

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A group of Newton North High School students spoke with WBZ-TV and acknowledged Newton isn’t immune from racism.

“There’s a lot of power behind that word and I don’t think anybody should be using it,” one said.

“People expect to get away with things just because where we live,” another said.

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There have been at least four racial incidents at schools across the state this year alone.

Bill Shields