The Darien Democratic Town Committee and all Darien Democrats stand united against hate speech in any form. We are saddened to learn of the misogynistic and homophobic graffiti discovered at Darien High School this week. In another incident, also this week, a Darien High School student posted anti-Semitic language on a closed Facebook page. While many will argue these are isolated incidents, in 2019 swastikas were scrawled on a desk and external windows at the Middlesex Middle School on two separate occasions.

These appalling incidents highlight that the increasing polarization and animosity towards underrepresented groups that has permeated much of this country has now found root in Darien. These behaviors and actions reflect poorly on our community and leave many Darien residents disheartened and concerned about our town’s future.

The discriminatory and abusive behavior and actions within the Darien High School community this week are appalling and must be condemned by all students and adults. But much like “thoughts and prayers,” condemnations will not solve the problem. Words are not enough.

In recent weeks we have seen parents, candidates, and elected officials question the need for a curriculum that espouses Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. They have attached themselves to the national outcry that learning about those who are different from us may hurt their children rather than open their minds. A common refrain heard at the recent Board of Education meeting was that the discussion and education of our students on these topics belongs at home. However, the recent incidents and those occurring in the not-too-distant past illustrate exactly why we need to teach Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our schools as we prepare our children for their future.

Darien residents and public officials need to do better. This is why local elections matter.