UPDATE: In a Dec. 22 email, Evans said the school had identified PMS students responsible for the damage:
PMS administration believes the students’ actions were not targeting the Asian community with any malicious or vile intent. However, there was a school break-in resulting in damage to school property. Therefore, consequences must be given in accordance with District policy. While the students took the appropriate step by taking responsibility for their actions, it’s important to use this opportunity as a “teachable moment.” We’ve outlined several actions for each student to complete. My goal is to not only ensure this never happens again, but to educate these students in a way where they can grow from this experience and contribute to the community in a positive way.
In an email to the parent community Tuesday evening, Piedmont interim Superintendent Dr. Donald Evans said that over the weekend, four rooms and a bathroom were broken into at Piedmont Middle School and that “items were moved, supplies were used, and anti-Asian hate slurs were found inside, as well as in a few outdoor locations.”
The email said that PMS staff were able to clean and remove the majority of the graffiti before students arrived on campus; however, some of it was small and not easily seen, he said, so there could still be some not identified or reported to the office.
From the email:
We’re in the process of conducting our investigation. Someone reported seeing children outside of the rooms and believed they were middle school-age. We’re working with Piedmont PD and the witness who saw the children.
We will not tolerate or condone racism in the PUSD community. While we encourage and value differences and contrary points of view, we do not condone or allow speech or action that is hurtful and perpetuates racism in our society. When hateful language is used, it harms the whole community.
This work is ongoing and is going to require healing, learning, and a commitment to hard conversations and discomfort in service of moving the community forward. We ask for your partnership in this effort.
Talk to your children about race. They do not have the context to make sense of what they may hear or see on Social Media and in the news. Give your child the insight and guidance they need to better understand what is going on in the world.
Be curious and ask questions about racism, social justice, and restorative practices. For more information:
Share suggestions and ideas on how we can move forward as a community. If you have an area of expertise and want to support this effort, please feel free to reach out to my office.
If you have any information about this incident, please contact my office. You can also use See Something Say Something.
If someone is caught, and it is determined this is a bias incident, we will adhere to Board Policy 5145.9 – Hate Motivated Behavior, and make disciplinary recommendations in adherence with this policy.
We strive to make PUSD a safe place for all students to learn and succeed. Our leadership team and all staff are working to ensure we continue to be a learning space where all students can thrive. Thank you for your time and partnership.