JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors voted nearly unanimously Monday night to expel two Spruce Mountain High School students accused of drawing a swastika in two school bathrooms and writing a racial slur.

Their decision at a special board meeting followed comments from a parent who said they need to send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Timothy Walton of Livermore, who has two soon-to-be students at the high school, said, “My message is simple. No child of color or religious faith should be frightened to attend public school in this state or anywhere in the country. Racism at any level or at any age, whether it’s a student, a teacher, coach or school board member, should not be tolerated.”

The Livermore Falls teens were charged Oct. 13, with drawing a swastika in two high school bathrooms and writing a racial slur. The 15- and 17-year-olds were each issued a summons on a charge of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, school resource officer Cpl. Joseph Sage said then. The students were released to their parents.

This incident . . . just doesn’t belong here, Walton said. “Those kids learned it from somewhere,” he said. “That’s the community’s problem.

“Your job is to make sure we don’t have that problem in the school,” he said. “A 10-day suspension is nothing more than a second. These kids have to go. It has to be a message sent here tonight that this does not belong in school.


“A student of the Jewish faith, or a child of color or mixed race or high-percentage African American as my daughter is, should not have to come to school in fear for her life,” he said. “When you write on the wall,” a common racial slur toward Black people, “that only means one thing.”

Walton said, “If you think for a second that (Uvalde, Texas) or today’s shooting in St. Louis or any of those things can’t happen in this school, guess again. You need a team of school resource officers, a team of administrators, a team of school board members that care to stop it and it ain’t going to be those doors that I just came through that’s going to stop them.

“The next day my daughter has to worry about coming to this school, fear for her life because of her skin color, will be the last day she comes to this school,” Walton said.

After separate executive sessions on both teens, directors voted to expel them indefinitely and directed the superintendent to develop a reentry plan.

Supporting both expulsions were Robin Beck, Lenia Coates and Phoebe Pike, all of Livermore Falls; Holly Morris, Tasha Perkins and Andrew Sylvester, all of Livermore; and Elaine Fitzgerald, Patrick Milligan, Robert Staples and Chantelle Woodcock, all of Jay.

Director Jodi Cordes of Jay voted to expel the first student and abstained from voting on the second student.

Directors Joel Pike and Lynn Ouellette of Jay and student representative Ava Coates of Livermore Falls were absent.

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