In early July 2020, Dickinson Avenue Elementary School was defaced by an abundance of swastikas and racist slurs. We were devastated. As the days passed, we wondered: where is the follow-up correspondence to the families of Dickinson Avenue and other schools in the district, comforting us and providing us with materials for education and action? We reached out to school officials and voiced our concerns. More recently, we learned via the local news that hateful text messages between a group of high schoolers in a neighboring school district had gone viral. Homophobic and anti-Semitic conversations were screenshot and seen by the entire community.
We asked ourselves again: where is the outrage from local leaders and district administrators - and where is the collaboration between these groups? Where is the line drawn and the statement made that we will not tolerate hate in our community?
As Northport residents and parents of children in this district, we decided that we could not sit around waiting anymore. We had a virtual meeting with the founders of Not In Our Town, a national nonprofit organization that has created a movement to stop hate (www.niot.org), and NIOT Northport was born.