Dear Putnam Valley Community:

I want to clarify yesterday’s events in regards to the parking spot incident at our school. First and foremost, our belief has always been that the parking spot message that was painted by a student was hateful and unacceptable. Our immediate response was to investigate the message with our Student Resource Officer, Deputy Meury. We then removed the message so that the parking space could be preserved for the student who is assigned that space. While we cannot control students’ beliefs, we will not allow hateful messages on our campus. FERPA regulations do not allow us to discuss student discipline; however, the student will not be painting another spot in our parking lot.

We also realize that in our haste to get our message out to the community our communication did not express the seriousness of the situation or demonstrate the depth of caring that should have been conveyed in our statement.

Both Mr. Mello and I value our police-community and appreciate the protections that they provide us on a daily basis. We apologize for not taking proactive measures that could have prevented this student’s message. Moving forward, we will be developing new protocols for painting senior parking spots. We also apologize for not communicating a stronger message that hate speech is not tolerated or allowed on our campus. These are difficult times and we should have given greater consideration to how this would affect our families in the community.

We value our school traditions and the sense of community they provide our students and our families. As a school and a district, we will continue to work at teaching empathy and respect for all groups, as well as the need for forgiveness and healing, so that students can coexist peacefully together. We have so many good and caring students and staff at Putnam Valley High School please do not let this incident define us as a school community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Sandra Intrieri, Principal
Mr. Matt Mello, Assistant Principal

There is no school for students on Monday, April 22, 2024

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