The Scarborough High School Civil Rights Club assisted the board of education and school administration members on a joint statement of unity against racism, delivered to families on March 30. Kelley Bouchard / Portland Press Herald

SCARBOROUGH — After a Scarborough family reported being a target of a racist note, the board of education, district council leadership and high school civil rights club encouraged education and discussion in a joint statement.

On March 22, a family said they found a racist hate-note on their car, April Sither, board chair, said. The board read a statement in response to the action during the April 1 meeting.

“The incident was shared by the family on social media with the following message, ‘Please don’t respond to this with sympathy replies,” Sither said. “‘What I would like for all of us to do is talk to our children, family, friends, neighbors and even people who you don’t know so well.'”

Over the following week and with consent from the family, administration members, school board members and Scarborough High School Civil Rights Club members developed a joint statement, she said. This was sent to the school community on March 30.

Maxwell Bennett, student representative of the board, read the statement during the meeting.

“Although we know that people of color are regularly subjected to racist acts and aggression, it can be easy to dismiss these nationwide instances by saying that racism doesn’t happen in Scarborough,” he said. “However, we know that is not the reality. We stand in solidarity and offer our support to any and all individuals and families in our community who have been targeted and impacted by racist acts. Racism will not be tolerated in Scarborough. We call upon our community members in Scarborough to rise up in opposition to racism and support people of color in our community.”

The statement asks that families have conversations and report inappropriate behavior.

“Talk to your children and family about racism,” Bennett said. “Do not use or tolerate the use of racist or derogatory language. If you see something, do something. There are people and resources at each Scarborough school, ready and willing to help. If you aren’t sure who to report to, consider an adult you trust at the school or building and district leaders or student support services staff like school counselors, social workers, etc.”

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