Racial Slur Found At South West Middle School

By SCOTT JACKSON

The principal at South West Middle School in Quincy said an investigation is underway to identify whoever left hateful graffiti including a racial slur inside one of the school’s bathrooms and pledged to hold the responsible party accountable.

Derek Lakey, the school’s principal, said the graffiti was found in the bathroom on Tuesday.

“Hateful graffiti including a racial slur was found in one of our restrooms today,” Lakey wrote in an open letter.  “This graffiti is extremely offensive to the entire school community and will not be tolerated at South West Middle School.  An investigation is underway and the offensive graffiti has been removed.  Please know that those identified as involved in this misconduct will be held accountable and appropriately disciplined.

“Moving forward, we will use this incident as an opportunity to reinforce that as a school community, we stand for respect and inclusion.  At South West Middle School, we pride ourselves on providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for staff and students.  We will continue to emphasize these values at every opportunity inside and outside the classroom.”

Lakey invited anyone concerned about the incident to reach out to him or other staff members.

“If you or your student have concerns about this incident, please feel free to reach out to me at 617-984-8729 or via email at dereklakey@quincypublicschools.com,” he wrote.  “Assistant Principal Susan Foley (susanfoley@quincypublicschools.com) and Guidance Counselors Shane Abboud (shaneabboud@quincypublicschools.com) and Jill Kyranis (jillkyranis@quincypublicschools.com) are available to speak with you or your student as well.”

The graffiti at South West Middle School was discovered one day after a student with the GOALS program – which is located in a building on Hunt Street in North Quincy – was charged with bringing a handgun to school.

In an open letter published Monday, the date of the incident, Supt. Kevin Mulvey said the student admitting having the handgun with them inside the GOALS building. Before police could arrive, Mulvey said the student fled to the North Quincy MBTA station and boarded a train. The train was stopped before leaving the station, however, and the student was arrested without incident.

“This morning, a student at the GOALS program was found to be in possession of a weapon, specifically a handgun.  The student was quickly removed to an administrative area of the building and the student admitted to having a handgun on their person because of safety concerns outside of school. A GOALS administrator alerted the Quincy Police Department, Director of Safety & Security Michael Draicchio, and me,” Mulvey wrote.

“Anticipating the Quincy Police Department’s arrival, the student fled from the GOALS building to the North Quincy MBTA station and boarded a train.  The Quincy Police Department notified the MBTA Police and the train was stopped before departing the station. After a search of the train, the student was identified and arrested without incident at the North Quincy MBTA station and the handgun was confiscated by the police.”

Mulvey thanked school staff and police for their response to the incident.

“My sincerest thanks go to the staff of the GOALS program, due to their actions and the support of the Quincy Police Department and the MBTA Police Department, this very serious event ended without injury to any member of the community.  As you know, safety and security is very important to all of us here at Quincy Public Schools and I want to stress that the student did not threaten any staff members or students at any time,” he said.

“Please contact me at kevinmulvey@quincypublicschools.com or at 617-984-8701 if you have questions or concerns.”

Mayor Thomas Koch, in a statement, commended the response by school staff.

“From the initial response to the resolution, the school staff and our police officers did a truly excellent job in handling this incident and ensuring it ended the way it did,” he said.

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