The following is a Statement on Hate-Related Vandalism at Montgomery County Public Schools from Superintendent Jack R. Smith:
"In recent weeks, Montgomery County Public Schools has seen a surge in hate-related vandalism in our schools and on school property. This trend is disturbing and unacceptable. These actions are a violation of school policy, a violation of the law, and simply wrong. Students engaged in this behavior will be disciplined to the fullest extent possible in accordance with MCPS policy.
The MCPS Department of School Safety and Security is working closely with the Montgomery County Police Department to investigate these acts of vandalism and to ensure that our schools remain safe places to learn.
Let me be perfectly clear—MCPS respects the right to free speech that is codified in our school regulations—but does not and will not tolerate hate-based speech or behavior in our school communities.
MCPS is a diverse community that is built on a foundation of respect for all. This means respecting the rich diversity of our 159,000 students and 23,000 employees. Our differences in backgrounds, races, faiths, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, political preferences and gender identities are an opportunity to celebrate and learn, not discriminate and denigrate.
MCPS is a safe and welcoming place for all students and staff and we will take all appropriate steps to ensure it remains that way."