PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Penfield Central School District officials investigating after the “n-word” and a swastika were found carved into tables at the high school.

In a letter sent to parents Thursday night, district officials said:

“Dear Penfield Families,

As we have shared with you, one of our major initiatives this year is a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We are conducting an equity audit, providing professional development for faculty and staff, infusing lessons around equity and racism into our curriculum, and working hard to make Penfield CSD an inclusive, welcoming district for all students and families.

As we continue to move forward with these initiatives, it is clear that we still have work to do. An example of this is a situation that occurred today. Two of our high school students discovered the “n-word” carved into a table in the Commons when they sat down for lunch. We are proud of these students, who brought the carving to the attention of an administrator and the table was immediately removed from the area. Upon examining the remaining tables, another table was found with a swastika carved in it and was removed. I am sharing this with you because I want to make it clear that we take incidents of this nature very seriously and have no tolerance for this type of behavior in our schools.

In response to this incident, our high school administration has opened an investigation to see if it can be determined who may be responsible. In addition, Principal Leslie Maloney addressed the situation with PHS students, reminding them that racist, offensive and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed in accordance with the District’s Code of Conduct.

We continue to encourage you to have open, age-appropriate discussions with your children about racism and treating others with respect. A number of resources that may help with these discussions are available on our website at: Equity and Anti-Racism Resources.

We appreciate your support in ensuring our schools are safe and welcoming for all students and families.

Thomas K. Putnam, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools