Racial Slur Causes "Large Impact" On Nantucket High School Students

Jason Graziadei •

School front

Nantucket High School administrators are investigating an incident in which students were photographed holding up a racial slur.

The photo showing three students holding what appears to be Scrabble letters spelling the N-word has been circulating on social media. School administrators became aware of the photo Tuesday afternoon at the end of the school day after the image was brought to their attention by Nantucket High School students, according to principal Mandy Vasil and superintendent Beth Hallett. 

"We are investigating this incident and have started talking to students and parents," Vasil wrote in an email to the school community sent Tuesday night. "We are sending you this message because it is essential that you know - students, parents, and Nantucket community members - that we do not condone nor will we tolerate any racial slurs or racist behavior from anyone in our school community. While this particular incident did take place outside of school hours, we are looking into the details, as it is having a large impact on our student body. We will be monitoring the health and well-being of our students as our investigation continues and expect there will be reparations that are suitable to the damage caused to our school community."

The school is considering a forum to help students process the incident and discuss next steps "to prevent future incidents of racial discrimination within our schools and beyond, and we would welcome your feedback around offering this opportunity or other suggestions."

Asked by the Current whether the students involved were facing any disciplinary consequences, Hallett said "We are not permitted to discuss consequences or discipline of students."

As word of the photo spread further in the schools on Wednesday, Hallett told the Current "There are mixed emotions; students are certainly upset but many are wanting to be part of the solution in educating themselves and their peers around the effect of racial slurs and hate speech."

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