GHS addresses racially charged graffiti


Alexander Oaks

GHS field house where racially charged graffiti was found and promptly removed

On Thursday, December 20th, “racially charged graffiti, including the n-word”, was found on the middle partition in GHS’ Benjamin A. Smith Field House. The vandalism was discovered by a member of the faculty. Upon notification, school administration removed the message.

The subsequent investigation into the incident has concluded.

“The language used violates deeply held values of the Gloucester High School community and is potentially harmful to many members of the GHS community. The faculty, staff, and administration are collectively committed to creating an environment promoting multiculturalism, inclusion, equality, and social justice,” said Principal James Cook in a school-wide announcement.  “Our follow up to this event will reflect these values and will foster a safe, inclusive environment for everyone in the GHS community.”

Physical Education teachers and Principal Cook spoke with students who may have encountered the graffiti about the implications of the words used and subsequent reactions.

“It is disappointing that it happened,” said Freshmen Darcy Muller. “If I knew who the student was it’d be better in some way. I don’t know if the student is black or white, and it isn’t okay either way, but it would give me more comfort to know their race. [The administration] did a pretty good job because they got at it so quick. It happened yesterday, they found out who it was, and addressed it by telling the school.”

Students who have been uniquely harmed by this graffiti are encouraged to seek guidance provided by various school resources.

Head custodian John ‘Bonesy’ Christopher said this is the first time he has seen racially charged graffiti at GHS.  “I wish they’d have a little more respect for their school and the other people who use their school,” he said. “It seems like a lack of respect to me.”

According to disciplinary policy, students who “willfully damage or destroy personal or school property will be held financially responsible for repairs and or replacement. A suspension of 10 days may also be imposed depending on the circumstances of the vandalism.”