Hochul calls on state police task force to investigate hateful graffiti at Colonie school

Gov. Kathy Hochul is calling on the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate hateful graffiti at Forts Ferry Elementary School in North Colonie.

Hochul tweeted she is “disgusted by the racist graffiti” found at the school, and is directing assistance from the New York State Police’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

As NewsChannel 13 has been reporting, Superintendent Joseph Corr says racial slurs and deplorable images were drawn at that elementary school over the weekend. No one has been arrested.

Corr wants the community to join together and denounce this hatred. He believes it may have something to do with the fact that the new principal of the school is Black.

“I think what we need to do is we need to acknowledge that this evil exists,” said Corr. “Then we need to work with our students – as we always do – on a level that is age appropriate.”

“That is our work going forward and that is our work as a school district,” he added.

Corr said when he first found out about what had happened, his initial reaction was one of anger and outrage. He said the school community is deeply offended and hurt by this. He said racism has no place in North Colonie, and we as a society must strive to do better.

The school district sent an email to parents explaining to them what had happened.

A man NewsChannel 13 spoke with on the phone says he witnessed the vandalism. He didn’t want to be identified. However, he says he was at the Forts Ferry playground with his grandchildren Saturday afternoon, between 4:40 and 5:30.

He says he saw a group of young kids come out of the woods, walk over to the building, and start looking through the windows, and then he heard the windows breaking.

He didn’t see any spray paint cans, and believes the graffiti was written with chalk. The caller said he shared that information with police.

NewsChannel 13 asked Corr if he thinks young, elementary students understand the concept of racism.

Hear his response by watching the video of Dan Levy’s story.