Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Swastikas Drawn on Windows and Baseball Field at California High School

An investigation is continuing into antisemitic and anti-Black messaging found on the grounds of Pleasant Hill Middle School at the start of the Christmas break.

The vandalism, being investigated as a hate incident, occurred about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 21 when approximately five male juveniles walked onto campus, according to Pleasant Hill police.

The juveniles used their fingers to draw swastikas on several school windows after fogging the windows with their breath. The males also drew swastikas on the infield dirt of the baseball and softball fields.

In addition, Mt. Diablo Unified School District officials said the perpetrators left derogatory racial language against the Black community. No permanent property damage was found.

Lt. Jason Kleven noted no suspects have yet been identified in the case and nothing was observed on camera footage that revealed any distinguishing markings on the clothing.

Along with vandalism charges, he noted enhancements could be added if interviews with individuals show that hate against protective classes underscored what took place.

Based on what appears on the video, Kleven acknowledged ignorance, as much as hate mongering, was driving those responsible.

‘‘Looking at the age of the people in the video and they were just being stupid – that’s a possibility,” said Kleven.

The district said police are “diligently investigating” the crime to identify those responsible.

In the hours after the incident, Superintendent Adam Clark contacted parents of local students.

“It is with deep regret and sorrow that I write to you today. Regrettably, this week, Pleasant Hill Middle School experienced a disturbing incident of hateful vandalism. This act of vandalism involved the defacement of our school grounds with anti-Semitic symbols (swastikas) and derogatory racial language (‘N’ word),” he wrote in an email.

“We are taking these actions with the utmost seriousness and have promptly reached out to the Pleasant Hill Police Department to assist in this matter. The safety and well-being of our students and staff remain our foremost concern, and we unequivocally condemn any form of prejudice, bigotry, or hate,” Clark continued. “We are committed to a swift resolution and holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions.”

To ensure that such episodes don’t quickly fade into the ether, Clark encouraged all schools to reference incidents that may occur on their campuses in their discussions about equity, tolerance, inclusiveness and creating welcoming environments in classrooms.

When asked for her perspective in the incident’s aftermath, Pleasant Hill Middle School Principal Terry McCormick declined to spotlight student reactions or specify how it is being used as a teachable moment in classrooms.

The hate-riddled vandalism comes in the wake of active roles Pleasant Hill area schools and their students are playing in recent city/diversity commission “United Against Hate” initiatives, including a Unity Walk and Community Conversations about Community, Equity and Inclusion.