SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Students at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School have organized an event to address issues of hate and racism in our community on Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the SPFHS auditorium.
Michael Dieu, a senior who has been his grade’s Student Council President for the past four years, announced the event on the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Community Facebook page following the spray-painting of vulgar, racist and anti-Semitic graffiti on the back wall of the high school over the weekend.
As a result of the racist and disgusting words and depictions in the school’s wall this past weekend, student leaders at the high school thought it was necessary to organize an event dedicated to addressing the issue of hate and racism in our community but also showing how Scotch Plains-Fanwood is United.
The immediate response from parents, administrators, local organizations, and students showed how we do not accept hate here. After meeting with local organizations and with the help of SPF Parents United, we have planned a “SPF United Through...” Rally for the entire community to open a dialogue about racism and hate and programs/steps we can implement to prevent this in the future. Student leaders and local organizations will speak. The event is scheduled for All are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.
The graffiti sparked widespread outrage across the Scotch Plains-Fanwood community. Scotch Plains police are still in the process of investigating the incident and are reviewing footage from the high school's security cameras. No arrests have been made.
The students have come up with an idea to show that the community is, in fact, united. They are asking that local organizations, sports teams, businesses, parents, teachers, music groups, etc., take a picture of their group with a sign saying “#SPFUnitedThrough________” and a short message that represents their group. Participants are asked to send the pictures to email@example.com.
"The more submissions the students receive, the more meaningful the message will be," Dieu wrote. "We are working hard to make sure that this event is meaningful and impactful."