Manchester Vigil Planned, After Racially-Charged Signs Found Outside Two Schools

Jan 23, 2017

The image being used by the group organizing a community vigil in Manchester Tuesday.
Credit Facebook

  A community vigil is planned for Tuesday, after Manchester school officials say racially-charged signs were found posted outside two of the city's schools last week.

Manchester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas sent a letter home to parents last week, informing them of the first sign discovered on a fence outside the Middle School at Parkside Wednesday. The sign referenced the "White Genocide Project" and read, "Diversity is a codeword for white genocide."

In the letter, Vargas said the sign was removed immediately and the incident is under investigation.

"The Manchester School District finds this act of bias deplorable and we denounce it," Vargas wrote. "The true measure of our character is how we choose to respond. This is an opportunity for adults and children to demonstrate appreciation and understanding for our diverse backgrounds and culture and to reinforce our shared values of respect and inclusion."

Vargas tells the New Hampshire Union Leader that a second sign, identical to the one outside Parkside, was also found outside Webster Elementary School last week. A resident took down the sign, but only alerted school officials after seeing the report in the newspaper about Parkside.

Manchester is one of the most racially diverse school districts in New Hampshire.

In response to the Parkside incident, a group is organizing a community vigil Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. The vigil will be held at Rock Rimmon Park. Organizers say the goal is "to bring attention to the position that such fear and racism will not be tolerated."