The Aegis

Police investigating hate crime at Aberdeen High School

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Aberdeen Police Department and Harford County Public Schools are investigating a hate crime at Aberdeen High School after a noose was found in a classroom Friday morning.

Around 7 a.m., the Aberdeen High School resource officer was notified about a piece of rope tied to resemble a noose attached to teacher’s whiteboard, according to a news release.


There were three messages potentially from three authors written on the whiteboard. The messages were not released to the public.

In a letter emailed to parents, Harford County Public Schools said it is appalled at the incident and encouraged students to alert administrators if they see something concerning.


“We are appalled and deeply saddened that someone brought this noose into our building. We are equally disgusted with one particular statement written on the white board that appears to be racially motivated,” the letter said. “We are continuing a thorough investigation of the situation and disciplinary action will be taken. Law enforcement partners at the Aberdeen Police Department, along with HCPS Safety and Security, our SRO, the supervisor of equity and cultural proficiency, and school administrators are committed to identifying any person involved.”

The letter continued: “As a school, we welcome and honor diversity and are committed to facilitating a safe and secure environment for all our students and staff. Your support at home is greatly appreciated! Please encourage your student that if they see something, to report it to administrators, the SRO, or someone else that they trust at the school so that we can immediately address it.”

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The teacher who discovered the rope had returned from two days of being away from the classroom. The teacher’s absence is unrelated to the incident, according to Harford County Public Schools.

In a statement released Friday, the NAACP of Harford County said that racially motivated incidents of hate happen in the county often.

“Today we learned that a teacher at Aberdeen High School returned to the classroom, after being away for two days, to hate,” the release stated. “A rope noose along with three messages were waiting. The graffiti appeared to be written by three different individuals; one message was particularly hateful and racist. The NAACP of Harford County would like to be shocked by this, but the reality is that racially motivated hate happens far too often here. It happens in schools, in the workplace, in the halls of government, and at home. It must stop. There is zero tolerance for this in our community and especially in the public school system.”

The release continued: “We thank the Aberdeen Police Department, Aberdeen High School and Harford County Public Schools for swiftly condemning this action and for their promise to investigate fully. We expect the perpetrators to be expelled and punished to the fullest extend of the law. We stand ready to work with the school district in any we can to find a way to instill tolerance and understanding of hate. And we stand ready to work with our communities to learn how to be allies against bigotry. We are better and stronger as a county when we support each other.”

Schools dismissed early Friday, as scheduled, for spring break. Teachers and staff had professional development Monday and Tuesday. Students return to class on April 11.