Nantucket students allegedly photographed holding up a racial slur


“We do not condone nor will we tolerate any racial slurs or racist behavior from anyone in our school community,” the superintendent said in a letter to families.

Nantucket High School. Handout via The Boston Globe

Nantucket school officials are investigating after several high school students were photographed holding up “what appears to be a very inappropriate racial slur,” according to Superintendent Beth Hallett.

The photo — which had been circulating on social media and among the student body — was taken outside school hours, Hallett wrote in a letter to families Tuesday. The superintendent didn’t specify the slur used, but the Nantucket Current reported that the photo showed three students holding up what appeared to be Scrabble letters, arranged to spell out the N-word. 

“We are investigating this incident and have started talking to students and parents,” Hallett wrote, adding, “It is essential that you know — students, parents, and Nantucket community members — that we do not condone nor will we tolerate any racial slurs or racist behavior from anyone in our school community.”

She said school officials will be monitoring students’ health and well-being as the investigation continues, “and expect there will be reparations that are suitable to the damage caused to our school community.”

The district is also considering a forum to give students an opportunity to discuss the incident and ways to prevent future acts of racial discrimination. 

“We will certainly provide updates to our school community as they are available,” Hallett wrote.  

Of Nantucket High School’s 593 students, about 44.2% are white, 40.1 % are Hispanic, 9.6% are Black, 2.4% are Asian, and 3.7% are multi-racial, according to data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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