Putnam Valley HS addresses spray-painting controversy in seniors' parking lot

For 20 years, seniors at Putnam Valley High School have been decorating their parking spots as a rite of passage, but the school is now thinking of putting new protocols into place after one went too far.

News 12 Staff

Sep 8, 2020, 9:24 PM

Updated 1,356 days ago

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A high school in Putnam County is dealing with a controversial political message left by one of its own students.
For 20 years, seniors at Putnam Valley High School have been decorating their parking spots as a rite of passage, but the school is now thinking of putting new protocols into place after one went too far.
Last week, a student spray-painted messages on another student's spot.
Besides Black Lives Matter, there were derogatory phrases about police officers and the singling out of a student's father for being an officer.
School officials initially said it was accidental.
A parent spoke with News 12 off camera, saying what was most upsetting was that the school took too long to condemn the action.
The superintendent says they do not tolerate hate speech of any kind and that they painted over the space as soon as they were notified.
"As an educational institution, we must utilize events like this to educate our students on respectful and appropriate speech and actions," said the superintendent. "This incident is a reminder of the role the district serves in the community and the importance of our work with students to condemn hatred of any kind."
The high school principal also put out a statement in response saying they value their law enforcement community.
The school says it is implementing new protocols for decorating parking spaces.
The school says that for legal reasons it can't discuss disciplinary action, but did say the student responsible for the incident is not allowed to paint in the parking lot again.
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