Wrong Sort of ‘spirit’ on School Rock
By Scott Shurtleff
GROTON -- The “spirit” rock at Groton Dunstable Regional High School’s upper parking lot is often painted with messages that promote school “spirit,” but not Christmas “spirit.”
After the large boulder was adorned with season’s graffiti over the weekend, school officials painted over the “ho-ho-ho” and “Merry Christmas,” as the graffiti violated school policy.
“Although, this clearly isn’t something meant to offend or minimize others it is still a message associated with a specific religious belief which is not in keeping with the meaning of the rock,” the district said in a statement released Tuesday.
According to written norms, “the rock was meant to promote school events and school spirit only.” And it requires that approval be given to groups wanting to emblazon the stone.
The student group behind the graffiti has since reconsidered their actions and support the school’s policy and inclusiveness.
In a response to inquiries, a representative from the group issued a brief statement. “Although I stand by what we did... because of the level of respect and understanding he (Principal Michael Woodlock) showed us I would not feel right taking this issue any further.”
The school is not against holiday festivities or merriment.
“We are simply trying to let school be a place where people of any belief or custom do not feel marginalized because they may not worship or believe the same thing as the majority. We at GDRHS are not looking to keep students from expressing their excitement for the upcoming holidays,” the district said in a statement.