Racial slur found at PMHS on poster encouraging students to spread positivity


A Post-it with a message that had the N-word added (all but the “n” blocked out by the Pelham Examiner) along with other messages on a poster encouraging positive communication.

A Post-it with the N-word written on it was found Monday at Pelham Memorial High School on a poster that aimed to encourage students to share positive messages with their peers.

According to an email from PMHS Principal Mark Berkowitz, the racial slur was added to a note that originally said “Be Nice.”

Interim Assistant Principal Richard Leprine spoke briefly to some classes Wednesday, saying that derogatory comments would not be tolerated in the school. This event follows an incident of antisemitism at PMHS in October, when a swastika was found scratched into the wall in a stairwell.

Colorful Post-its with sayings like “Be Kind” and “Laugh & just relax” surrounded the note with the racial slur until the entire display, which was was outside the counseling office, was taken down sometime between Monday and Wednesday morning. A picture of the poster with the Post-its was circulated on at least one Snapchat account.

Berkowitz released a statement to PMHS families at 1:47 p.m. on Wednesday stating, “We condemn this language and all instances of hate. Students and families should know that once the Post-it was removed, we initiated an investigation in accordance with the code of conduct.”

Public Information Officer Alex Wolff said the district and Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ had no comment on the incident.