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Stratford Supt Says Graffiti at Schools Common, Taken Seriously

Reaction to last week's threatening graffiti incident.

Second Hill Lane Elementary School Credit: Patch File Photo
Second Hill Lane Elementary School Credit: Patch File Photo

Stratford police said Monday that the department is continuing its investigation into disturbing graffiti found last week on the rooftop of a local elementary school.

The graffiti had read "death 2 thee kids" before it was quickly painted over shortly after being spotted Wednesday afternoon at Second Hill Lane Elementary School.

Police said last week that "there does not appear to be any credible threat of violence" but added that they take any such threatening message very serious.

"Our goal is to ensure that the person or persons responsible for this vandalism are identified and charged appropriately, regardless of their age or motivation," Lt. Frank Eannotti said.

After the incident, local police immediately beefed up security in and around the school.

Superintendent Janet Robinson said that graffiti vandals frequently target schools as the perpetrators are often young people themselves and sometimes former students at the targeted school.

All cases of threatening graffiti are taken seriously, Robinson said, and there is a procedure in place where school officials quickly notify police and parents.

Every parent of a Second Hill Lane student was informed of the incident last week through a school messenger system, which sends out alerts via phone, email and text, she said.

Student emergency contact information is gathered at the beginning of the school year, the superintendent said. Additionally, the principal sent a letter home.

However, some parents of other schools questioned why they were not notified of the disturbing graffiti. Robinson said Second Hill Lane was the only school "impacted."

Robinson, who came to Stratford from Newtown where she led that district in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting last December, said all schools would have been placed on lockdown had police determined the graffiti threat to be credible.

"Police were confident the safest place (for students) was in school," she said.

All visitors to the district's elementary schools need to be buzzed in before entering, said Robinson, adding that there are cameras outside the entrance to every school.

The district's two middle schools and two high schools are each equipped with school resource officers (SROs). Click here to meet the SRO at Wooster.

As police continue their investigation, they ask anyone with information call the department at 203.385.4123 or 203.375.8477.

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