‘We are shocked and saddened’: St. Catherine school in Peterborough targeted with anti-black and homophobic graffiti

St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School was targeted with anti-black, homophobic and other profane messages that were spray painted on the school’s exterior last weekend, according to a letter sent home to parents.

The letter came home with students on Monday (May 9) detailing the incident that occurred at the west-end Peterborough school on Glenforest Boulevard. The letter was shared on social media Monday evening.

The letter was sent by acting school principal Karen Procyk and outlined what staff were greeted with when arriving on Monday morning.

“School staff arrived early this morning to find anti-black, homophobic and other profane messages spray painted on the exterior of the school and portables,” reads Procyk’s letter.

It goes on to read the staff were able to cover the messages up before students arrived for class.

“The Board’s facility services will work to remove the graffiti as soon as possible,” states Procyk.

Procyk says Peterborough police were notified and are investigating the incident as a hate / bias crime.

Police could not be reached for comment on Tuesday morning (May 10).

“As a school community dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive, and loving learning environment, we are shocked and saddened that this has occurred,” reads the letter. “Whether the vandalism was perpetrated by someone outside our school community or within, we take this opportunity to fully condemn racism, homophobia, discrimination and hate in all its forms.”

Procyk says the Catholic school board is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination and to embed equity and inclusive education, anti-racism, human rights, and Indigenous education into all its policies, procedures, programs, operations, and practices.

“Displays of hate such as this show how much work still needs to be done to educate students and our broader school communities about racism and discrimination as we put our commitment to equity into action,” states Procyk in the letter.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the school or the Peterborough police at 705-876-1122 extension 555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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