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Changes coming after disturbing increase of hate in Hastings middle school

District officials say students have been showing an uptick in discriminatory behaviors, including making racist, sexist, homophobic and antisemitic remarks to one another.

News 12 Staff

Mar 30, 2023, 10:19 AM

Updated 420 days ago

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School officials in Hastings-on-Hudson met with middle school teachers and staff Wednesday night in an effort to combat an uptick in discriminatory behaviors between students.
District officials have been concerned about students' behavior toward one another recently, but an incident last week forced the district to act.
Blue and orange ribbons decorate the outside of Farragut Middle School in Hastings-on-Hudson.
It's a sign of solidarity for students who have been harassed or discriminated against.
District officials say students have been showing an uptick in discriminatory behaviors, including making racist, sexist, homophobic and antisemitic remarks to one another.
Late last week, a group of students took a video of a student with a disability reading a racial slur out loud that had been written on a bathroom wall. They then shared it on social media.
This has made some students uncomfortable and unsafe.
Hastings Superintendent of School Dr. William McKersie defended the district's overall culture but said there's room to improve.
"Hastings has had a long reputation for being out front on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and working hard to make sure special education students are treated well," he said.
He said the district is taking the incidents seriously and plans to redouble its efforts to better educate students, encourage understanding of others and improve diversity.
"We're a district as a community that condemns any symbols and words of hate in any form," he said. "The district will lean on its DEI Coordinator, continue offering inclusion courses in the middle school, and look towards its 'Race Matters" Committee to address the issues of equity and justice in the classroom."


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