BOZEMAN - In a letter to school families, Whittier Elementary Principal Cale VanVelkinburgh confirmed that antisemitic fliers were found on cars parked near the school on Thursday morning, March 2, 2023.
Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent Casey Bertram shared the letter in a press release on Thursday.
VanVelkinburgh said in the letter that the fliers are related to the NSM, a known hate group and neo-nazi white supremacist organization based in the United States.
"Once notified, we tried our best to remove the fliers and notified our School Resource Officer," VanVelkinburgh wrote to Whittier families. He continued:
Hate has no place at our school, in our school district, or in our community. As a school district, we reject any form of racist and hateful behavior. District Policy #3210 speaks to our commitment to equal education and non-discrimination: The District will make equal educational opportunities available for all students without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, ethnicity, language barrier, religious belief, physical or mental handicap or disability, economic or social condition, actual or potential marital or parental status, gender, or sexual orientation. No student will be denied equal access to programs, activities, services, or benefits or be limited in the exercise of any right, privilege, or advantage, or denied equal access to educational and extracurricular programs and activities.
Additionally, District Policy #3226 addresses our stance on bullying/harassment/intimidation/hazing: The Board will strive to provide a positive and productive learning and working environment. Bullying, harassment, intimidation, or hazing, by students, staff, or third parties, is strictly prohibited and shall not be tolerated.
Anyone with information about the fliers is asked to call the Bozeman Police Department at 406-582-2000, and select option 6.
Superintendent Bertram said VanVelkinburgh's letter served as the school district's formal response to the incident.
Bertram said the school district would not be accepting media requests for interviews "so as to not provide a forum that draws attention to the hate portrayed in the fliers."