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Ridgewood Superintendent Comments on Swastika and Star of David Graffiti Found at Ridgewood High School


December 4, 2018

Dear Ridgewood Public Schools Parents, Guardians and Staff:

On Monday evening I was informed by Ridgewood High School Principal Dr. Thomas Gorman that last night a swastika and Star of David graffiti were found on the school campus. These symbols were carved in a stall in the girls’ bathroom. The incident was immediately reported to the Ridgewood Police Department and is being investigated at this time.

This incident is highly shocking and disturbing. While it seems to follow a copycat pattern of recent instances of swastikas found on the campuses of other schools in our Bergen County area, in no way does the repeat nature of this episode at one of our schools diminish the egregious behavior of the person or persons who committed this act, nor the seriousness with which our police and my administration are approaching the investigation and follow-up.

Please know that incidents of this nature cannot, and will not, be tolerated in the Ridgewood Public Schools. Our district’s zero tolerance policy for actions of bias is equally important to our proactive mission of promoting a culture of wholeness and communal well-being in our schools. We work very hard in all of our schools, every day, to promote a climate of respect for the dignity of all human beings regardless of race, religion, or creed. We can take pride in the many programs we have in place to help with that goal. This incident reinforces the need for such programs and the determination to succeed all the more. In this case, I am proud to say that it was a student who discovered the graffiti — which was small in size and not easily visible — and reported it.

Perhaps you will find an opportunity for family dialogue on this topic, including the importance of standing up for zero tolerance. I encourage you to speak with your children and to reach out to your school principal or to me with any specific areas of concern.

I will continue to share with you any relevant update from the Ridgewood Police Department as I am able, within the normal constraints of the investigation and privacy laws.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

16 thoughts on “Ridgewood Superintendent Comments on Swastika and Star of David Graffiti Found at Ridgewood High School

  1. 110 million and we are FOCUSSING in on an unfortunate
    graffiti Incident..these are young adults with poor impulsive judgements with pen knives and magic markers ….it’s kids with bad judgement..remember way back residents when you papered your neighbors house?.

  2. We cant tolerate that type of behavior. It’s not a joke. What does the school budget have to do with this?

  3. Disgusting. No place for this behavior in any public place. This goes way beyond throwing toilet paper up into your neighbors’ trees. Should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

  4. Ridgewood has become a vile place for children to live, riddled with bullying, sexual harassment and violence in the schools for more than a decade, and now anti-Semitism. Shame!

  5. It was in the girls bathroom. Could it be the same student who the Ridgewood High School administration allowed to continue to play on the school’s tennis team for the entire season after she posted a vile picture and called a player from another high school a “whore” on social media? It wouldn’t be surprising.

  6. I dont think it is a joke i love my neighbors and co workers friends its the context these are basically school kids with pens

  7. How could anyone possibly suggest that this is harmless? Comparing this to toilet papering your neighbor’s house? Really?

  8. Unfortunate that it happened at school. RHS is not responsible, the student is. RHS did not raise this child. I take responsibility for my children. They are wonderful kids and I raised them well. The district educated them as per state guidelines.

    Shameful behavior and deserves to be addressed by school in some manner. School will focus on education and the parents should focus on the child’s deviant behavior. Vandalism is a crime and child should be turned over when she is identified.

  9. “…highly shocking and disturbing…”

  10. Is it snowing or are we in a snow globe?

  11. We tolerate a lot …including a tone deaf town management who always knows better and are determined
    to turn the town over to the developers and happily walk away from the longer term
    damage to the town and its owners the Taxpayers ..This incident is very unfortunate
    as well as its timing and fact that it was in a bathroom stall signals its scope.Peace to all.How do we help these young adults to understand harm.

  12. could have been anyone male or female …why assume anything .

  13. The children and young adults take their cues from the grown ups.Why assume we are all so perfect and this person might need some counseling or a short history lesson on
    Hate and its impact on others . Expulsion should be the last action if at all possible.

  14. Whats the goal here with all the propaganda and breaking news about this during festival times? How is fishbein letter going to help?

  15. Propaganda commentor is spot on …

  16. “could have been anyone male or female …why assume anything .”
    What are these “male” and “female” things you speak of?

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