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Second racially charged sign found at Manchester school; vigil planned Tuesday

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

January 22. 2017 7:23PM
This image is from a Facebook event announcing a vigil at Manchester's Rock Rimmon Park on Tuesday afternoon. (FACEBOOK/Unity Vigil for Rimmon Heights Neighborhood)



MANCHESTER — A racially charged sign was found last week at a second city school, Webster Elementary School, Manchester School District Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas said Sunday.

A resident spotted a sign identical to the one reported found hanging on a fence outside Middle School at Parkside last Tuesday, Vargas said.

“He did remove the sign and obviously was concerned, but he didn’t report it to us until he saw the article in your newspaper,” Vargas said.

The news comes before an “open community vigil” planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Rock Rimmon Park, according to an event notice posted on Facebook.

The Rimmon Heights neighborhood as well as the Manchester community want to bring attention “that such fear and racism will not be tolerated,” according to the Facebook message.

Vargas applauded the efforts of residents organizing the vigil and said he would attend if his schedule allows.

“This is a caring, respectable community and this is the act of an individual involved who doesn’t represent this great community,” Vargas said.

Last week, Vargas sent a letter home to parents informing families about the Parkside sign. The New Hampshire Union Leader posted a story on its website Thursday and published a front-page story Friday.

The sign referenced the “White Genocide Project” and read, “Diversity is a codeword for white genocide.”

The sign was removed as soon as it was discovered.

Vargas said he doesn’t know what the resident did with the second sign or where it was spotted at the school.

He said he hasn’t been notified of any arrests connected with the signs.

In his letter to parents, Vargas explained the sign is part of a campaign known as the White Genocide Project, which, according to its website, “believes the present day social policy of ‘diversity’ is nothing more than a coordinated campaign of genocide against White people.”

Vargas also released a prepared statement last week.

“The intent of my letter to the Manchester School District community is to emphasize that our schools are proud of and celebrate the diversity of our students and staff,” Vargas said. “We will continue to discredit any messages that contradict the American values of inclusion and respect. It is our sincere hope that all members of our community support the school district in fostering those values, particularly in interactions with children.”

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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