Keene High School investigating racist and anti-LGBTQ+ vandalism
Keene High School is investigating two separate incidents of vandalism, one anti-LGBTQ and the other racist, that occurred on school grounds.
Principal Cindy Gallagher said in an interview on Feb. 9 that she learned of both cases the previous Friday.
“So we had a situation in which students went through the building after hours, went into a number of classrooms and in one classroom they ripped up a pride flag,” she said.
In a separate incident, she said school staff found one of the bathrooms tagged with graffiti, depicting a racial slur and “KKK” written out. Gallagher did not disclose any further information about the investigation, but said the school doesn’t believe the incidents are connected.
“This shouldn’t happen in our community, period,” she said. “I’m disappointed that it happened.”
Gallagher said that after she learned of the vandalism, all school staff were notified, as were police and parents.
Keene police couldn’t be reached for further information before this story was published.
In response to the incidents, she said the school has made counseling available to anyone affected who may want to talk. She said she’s also been meeting with students to talk about doing an educational campaign.
“I think we will address it moving forward promptly and effectively,” Gallagher said. “There’s no putting this under the carpet and saying it didn’t happen, this is a chance to take a step forward. An uncomfortable step, but a necessary step.”
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