Vandal behind racist message at Maple Grove HS identified

Maple Grove Superintendent Kate Maguire released a statement to the community on Monday stating that the vandal who wrote racist messages on a Maple Grove Senior High bathroom door has been identified and will be punished.

On Nov. 9, students reported that someone wrote racist messages on a bathroom door, messages that the principal, Bart Becker, said "endanger the safety of our students and staff of color, and create a climate that is not conducive to learning."

Maguire wrote that the investigation was “one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive investigations Maple Grove Senior High has ever conducted.”

The superintendent did not say what punishment the suspect will face, citing the privacy of the individual. 

“Board policy allows for a range of consequences that enable administrators to apply discipline according to the seriousness of any situation – and we found this to be a very serious incident," Maguire said. 

While school administrators have ended their investigation, the Maple Grove Police Department is still pursuing the case.

Additionally, Maguire wrote that the school will implement short-term and long-term actions “to promote conversations about race and ensure a safe learning and work environment.”

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Those actions include several opportunities over the next few weeks and months “to listen to what students have to say about how they were impacted by the incident, how they think we should proceed and, perhaps most importantly, what type of school culture their wish to promote and sustain.”

School staff will also participate in monthly meetings that give additional attention to professional development around racial equity. Staff will also receive extra support in understanding the district’s harassment policy and being able to intervene in situations that violate the policy, according to the statement.

Maguire also invited community members to the Community Forum on Race, set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 11. People can register for the free event anytime after Dec. 2 on the district website.