From the Melrose Free Press February 10th:
Two swastikas – one accompanied by the words 'not welcome' – were discovered in the Horace Mann area this week.
Both drawings of the symbol most closely associated with Nazism were written in the snow and eventually reported to Melrose Police.
The first drawing, which had the words 'not welcome' written below the symbol, was discovered on Horace Mann Elementary School property by Melrose resident Rachel Porter as she was walking her 7-year-old son to school.
"Just like every other day, we were walking to school and I had noticed people walking into the entrance and noticing something," Porter said. "The family that was walking in front of us lingered and looked at it for a second, which then caused us to linger and look at it."
Porter said her reaction to seeing the swastika, which she said was about four feet wide by two feet tall, was visceral.
"My immediate response was, 'oh my gosh, we have to cover this, we have to get rid of it,'" Porter said. "A school zone is supposed to feel like a safe space, so my response was not as much for us, but not wanting other people to see it. What felt the creepiest about it was that it was really nice penmanship. It felt like whoever did it took a lot of care in writing it, as if they weren't in a hurry."
Porter asked her son, who did not know what swastikas symbolize at the time, to help her shuffle out the symbol and accompanying text.
"Then we wrote 'love' in the snow," Porter said. "The rest of the way, I told him that symbols can have a lot of meaning to them and if he sees something that he's not sure what it is, especially if it's on school property, he should let an adult know."
Upon arriving at Horace Mann, Porter told a teacher what she had seen. A statement by Melrose Public Schools says the "teacher reported it to the principal and the Melrose Police Department was subsequently notified."
Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle told the Free Press a second swastika was found in "very close proximity" on a resident's private property on the same day.
Lyle said it does not appear the second symbol, which was also written in the snow, was directed at the resident of the property where it was found.
Police are now investigating the incidents, which they suspect are connected. Security footage from Horace Mann did not reveal any information because the camera was too far from the location of the first swastika, Lyle said.
Although I agree that the Swastikas and other words are despicable - let's be real - this is more likely a kid's prank - especially since it was near a school! Only a youthful idiot or a fool would pull such a prank to get attention. Let's not get hysterical about this unless it is repeated soon.
However, given the liberals need to react to the smallest offense and the need to "blame it on Trump" syndrome - one can expect further conversations about this among city groups. This is the America we are living in - look to be offended, look to blame President Trump, look to make America evil and bad in the world! After 8 years of this no wonder we are a divided nation!
"Police are now investigating the incidents, which they suspect are connected. Security footage from Horace Mann did not reveal any information because the camera was too far from the location of the first swastika, Lyle said."
I had no idea that me and my kids have been under video surveillance at Horace Mann. When exactly did they install a camera and how long have they been recording images? It is against District policy to do this without alerting parents either by signage or in some other way. I have seen nothing. This is not right.
All because of the president.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the federal law that governs educational records and surveillance in schools. According to FERPA, images of students captured on a school's security tapes are not considered educational records. Therefore, these tapes are not private and may be shared with the parents of the students. The U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office states that a parent of any directly involved student would be allowed to view the footage, but not permitted to receive a copy unless the other parents gave consent. Additionally, law enforcement can access security footage and would be required to review for evidence if there was a complaint of bullying, retaliation, assault or any other potential crime.
Excerpt from MPS and SC Policy: The district will notify students and staff through student and employee handbooks and appropriate signage that security cameras have been installed and may be used at any time. Students or staff identified on security cameras in violation of Committee policies will be subject to disciplinary action.
The Superintendent will ensure that proper procedures are in place and are followed regarding use, viewing, disclosure, retention, disposal, and security of video recordings or photographs from security cameras in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. A video recording used for security purposes in district buildings and/or on school property will be the sole property of the district. All video recordings will be stored in their original format and secured to avoid tampering and to ensure confidentiality in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Access to video recordings from security cameras will be limited to the Superintendent/designee, and principal/designee. Law enforcement and emergency response officials will be granted access to video recordings or the security system after giving prior notice to the Superintendent/designee.
The district would be required to share the footage if it were requested through the State public records law.