Dear North Colonie Community Members,
It profoundly saddens me to have to inform you that one of our elementary schools, Forts Ferry, was vandalized over the weekend with racist graffiti. Windows were broken, racial slurs were written, and deplorable images were drawn on the exterior of the building. Our maintenance staff has removed the graffiti and secured the windows.
Along with the Colonie Police, we are currently investigating this matter and gathering facts. I will share specific news as it becomes available. In the meantime, please come to me, or to any member of the staff, with information or concerns you may have. We will work to support those who have been victimized by these actions, and we will work to discover who did this and hold those individuals accountable. Such actions are classified as hate crimes by New York State statute.
Let me be clear that this behavior is unacceptable at all levels, and such racist and hateful language and actions will not be tolerated. Offensive and deeply hurtful to everyone in our school community, this abhorrent act is an affront to all that we strive to be in North Colonie as a community that is welcoming and affirming to everyone.
As a community and as an educational institution, we must join together and denounce this hatred. We cannot and will not shy away from the fact that this act occurred at Forts Ferry where Dr. Parker, a Black man, became principal in July. We need to recognize the ugliness and pain of this moment and we must, in word and deed, stand up and say racism has no place in our schools.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools