Federation in the news: The Reminder 1/10/24

Swastika at Longmeadow High School leaves community seeking accountability

LONGMEADOW — In the wake of a swastika found scrawled on a whiteboard at Longmeadow High School, students, parents and the community have been wanting to know what happens next.

In response to the Jan. 3 incident, Longmeadow Public School Superintendent M. Martin O’Shea released a message to families and other members of the LPS community. “Certainly, racist, discriminatory speech of any kind is not consistent with the policies of Longmeadow Public Schools and is not aligned with our commitment to being a learning community that embraces and affirms all student identities and cultures. LPS denounces any acts of hate, racism or discrimination in any form.” He went on to say that the Longmeadow Police Department and the school department are investigating the matter and pledged that staff and administrators would continue “supporting students and staff who experience discrimination.”

The incident prompted acrimonious debate on social media, where residents posted hundreds of comments, with some expressing anger at the act, and others accusing them of performative outrage. Jenna Barr, a sophomore at Longmeadow High School is a member of BBYO, an international organization that works to build activism and community for Jewish teens.