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Antisemitic imagery, racial slur written in some 20 yearbooks at Seekonk school

Multiple students at a Seekonk middle school on Monday defaced about 20 yearbooks with “anti-semitic imagery, a racist slur, and inappropriate drawings of a sexual nature,” Superintendent Rich Drolet said Tuesday.

Drolet confirmed the incident at Hurley Middle School in a letter to families.

He said the bigoted drawings were made by eighth-graders during the school’s annual signing event.

“These images were drawn in at least 20 yearbooks” Drolet wrote. “Upon learning of this incident at the event, all yearbooks were confiscated.”

He said school officials and Seekonk police are investigating.

“We are taking this issue very seriously and any students found to be involved in this incident will face appropriate disciplinary actions within the district,” Drolet wrote.

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The behavior, he said, directly contradicts the core values of the Seekonk Public Schools.

“We are extremely disappointed in whoever did this and would like to reiterate that any hateful, derogatory remarks about race, religion and/or sexual orientation and gender identity will not be tolerated within our schools,” he wrote.

In addition, Drolet urged families to contact Hurley Principal Alexis Bouchard at boucharda@seekonkschools.org with any information that may help the probe.

“Symbols, images, and words matter,” Drolet wrote. “We strongly encourage families to discuss this issue with their children and to talk about the impact of hateful words and symbols.”

The Seekonk investigation follows an earlier case of antisemitic vandalism in late May at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, where a student observed a swastika carved into the back of a seat inside the building.

Also in May, Marblehead police confirmed they were investigating after racist and antisemitic graffiti was found in multiple locations in town.

And in Duxbury, a recent report from an independent investigator found that athletes on the Duxbury High School football team used antisemitic audibles on the practice field as far back as 2010, routinely said a Christian prayer before games for years, and attended a Catholic Mass before the annual Thanksgiving game.

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Duxbury Superintendent John Antonucci recently released a summary of a 56-page investigative report composed by attorney Edward R. Mitnick of Just Training Solutions LLC in the wake of a scandal involving the team’s use of antisemitic play calls that led to the dismissal of longtime Duxbury football coach Dave Maimaron.

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.