Superintendent to hold session Monday to clarify details of swastika incidents, share response plans

Superintendent Cheryl Champ and Pelham Middle School Principal Lynn Sabia will Monday clarify details of the incidents involving swastikas found in the middle school during an open meeting at 6 p.m. in the PMS library. They will also review the presentation made during Wednesday’s student assemblies on the incidents and share plans for the district’s ongoing response.

The slides from the presentation to the students are available on the district website, according to a letter from Champ to the Pelham community.

The district is also working to set up a time to share the same information at each school for those who can’t make the 6 p.m. session on Monday. The letter said dates and times will be made available by school principals in the near future. The open meeting will precede a previously planned cultural proficiency overview for parents at 7 p.m.

As a follow-up to Wednesday’s email regarding swastikas found in Pelham Middle School, I wanted to share with you that we are continuing to collaborate with the Pelham Police Department as they conduct their investigation,” Champ’s letter said. “To be clear, antisemitism and hate have absolutely no place in our schools and in our world. Anyone found to be responsible will face significant consequences in accordance with the district’s code of conduct and applicable state and federal law.”

It is important at this crucial time that we do not fuel divisiveness but instead model civility and respect…”

— Superintendent Cheryl Champ

“On Wednesday, Principal Sabia and Assistant Principal (Sean) Llewellyn shared a powerful message and clear expectations with all middle school students,” the letter said. “These assemblies taught students the historical and current meaning of a swastika, the atrocities perpetrated during the Holocaust and why the symbol remains so powerfully damaging to this day.”

“Lastly, please know that I am fully aware of how sensitive this issue is for everyone in our community. It is important at this crucial time that we do not fuel divisiveness but instead model civility and respect as we work to unite our community against acts of antisemitism, bigotry or hatred of any kind.”

The district offered these resources for parents and residents: