Statement from Dr. Thomas Rogers, Superintendent of Schools
In the early morning hours of August 27, 2017, a community that prides itself on its diversity and inclusivity was horrified by an act of bias-related vandalism at Syosset High School and South Woods Middle School. Although the investigation revealed this was not the activity of a gang or an organized hate group, we were saddened to learn that the perpetrators were instead allegedly members of our student body.
Earlier this week, the police made five arrests in this incident. We are extremely grateful for their determined pursuit of this investigation over the course of many months. We are particularly appreciative of the efforts of the Nassau County District Attorney’s office and Deputy Bureau Chief Caryn Stepner specifically.
While this week’s events conclude the investigation, they alone do not heal the wound. The actions of these few individuals cannot and will not redefine the values of this community. However, this incident serves as a reminder that the work of building a tolerant and inclusive school community is an ongoing shared process between our schools, parents and greater Syosset community. We must be vigilant to reinforce those values as adults and to pass them along to our next generation.
Although we cannot comment on specific individual student disciplinary matters, please be assured that the individuals responsible will be held accountable in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct.