N-word written on locker at Gaithersburg High School; MCPS launches investigation

Hate-based graffiti was found Wednesday in the boy's locker room at Gaithersburg High School.

The school's principal, Cary Dimmick, sent home a letter to families notifying them of the discovery. 

Within the letter, Principal Dimmick says a student made the "unacceptable decision" to scratch the N-word into the paint on a locker. 

A GHS staff member reported it, and the word was quickly removed. 

READ MORE: MCPS to address bathroom safety concerns as parents voice frustrations

Now, according to Dimmick, the Community Education Officer, Montgomery County Public Schools Office of School Security and Emergency Management, and the Montgomery County Public Schools Office of School Support and Well-Being are assisting with the investigation into the racist vandalization. 

"We are deeply saddened this is the second such instance at Gaithersburg High School in the past week," Dimmick said in the letter. "Student(s) who commit these unacceptable acts will receive strict consequences, as it is important that we continue our 
work with our students to help them understand the impact of hateful and hurtful words and symbols." 

"When we use inappropriate words to describe each other, we are not respecting each other, nor are we creating a community of care," he added. 

GAITHERSBURG, MD, AUGUST 26, 2013: First day of school at Gaithersburg High School. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The school is encouraging parents to have a conversation with their kids about respecting differences and understanding the weight that intolerable symbols, words, and actions carry with them. 

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The Montgomery County Council issued the following statement today condemning another instance of hate-based graffiti at Gaithersburg High School:

"We are saddened to hear of another instance of hate-based graffiti found at a Montgomery County Public School (MCPS), and the second instance this past week alone at Gaithersburg High School (GHS). This time race-based.

"The Council stands in solidarity with the GHS community and the entire MCPS community in condemning all acts of hate and racism.

"We are committed to making our schools safe and inclusive spaces for all our students, no matter their race, religion or background. We stand ready to support MCPS in its ongoing efforts to create a community of care and respect.

"We must uphold the values of diversity and inclusivity that make Montgomery County so special and continue to educate our youth about the importance of respecting these values and understanding the harm these hate acts cause. To ensure we are an inclusive community, we all must become actively conscious about racism and take actions to end racial inequities.

"The Council expresses its gratitude to MCPS and GHS administrators and staff for their response and prompt communication to GHS families."

Read the full letter sent home to GHS families below: