Police are investigating after racist graffiti targeting the superintendent of Wayland schools was found near Wayland High School Wednesday morning, officials said.
Wayland police were alerted to the graffiti at about 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the Wayland Community Pool, which is located near the high school, officials said in a statement.
The graffiti was directed at Wayland Public Schools Superintendent Omar Easy, according to a town spokesperson. Easy could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday night.
The incident is under investigation by the Wayland Police Department, which has been in contact with the Anti-Defamation League of New England, the statement said.
“We do not tolerate any acts of hate in Wayland and we want to reassure our community that we are taking this incident very seriously,” Wayland Acting Police Chief Ed Burman said in the statement. “The person or people found responsible for this hateful message will be held accountable.”
Wayland School Committee Chairman Chris Ryan denounced the incident, calling it a “clear and blatant act of racism.”
“This incident goes against the core values of our community, and it undermines our continuing work in building an inclusive environment for each and every person in the community,” Ryan said in the statement. “We are working very closely with the Wayland Police Department as they determine the circumstances and people involved in this hateful incident.”
In a letter to Wayland High School parents, Principal Allyson Mizoguchi said the school decided to pause classes Wednesday afternoon and had students convene in advisory groups “to process today’s events and their responses.”
“They are feeling a range of emotions tied to their experiences and their identities,” Mizoguchi said in the letter. “They are having supportive, sometimes difficult, conversations in classes and with each other.”
Anyone with information about the graffiti is asked to call Wayland police at 508-358-4721.
The discovery of the graffiti in Wayland comes after a racist message was found in a bathroom at Quincy High School last Thursday. That message was directed at the high school’s principal, Keith S. Ford, who is Black. On Monday, parents and Quincy school community members rallied outside the high school in support of Ford.
Thomas Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, addressed both incidents in a statement shared on Twitter Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, we are experiencing increasing numbers of incidents where people weaponize language against others based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation,” Scott said in the statement.
“It’s not only hurtful but it provides messages inconsistent with our education mission to create a sense of support and belonging to each other. Today’s incident is an act of blatant racial aggression and demands that we all stand up against such an act of hate.”