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Boston Area Police Search for Vandals who Graffitied Swastikas onto Local High School

Officials in the Massachusetts town of Middleborough are working to find out who was responsible for spray painting hateful, inappropriate messages and antisemitic symbols around the perimeter of the High School.

In a message to the Middleborough High School community, Principal Paul Branagan said that the hateful graffiti on campus was discovered early Sunday morning by the school’s director of facilities.

Branagan described the vandalism as “extensive and deeply upsetting,” and noted that a swastika was spray-painted on the front of the high school near the entrance to the building.

The principal also said a direct threat against him was spray-painted on the outside of the school building.

“The incident that took place on our campus is intolerable. I felt it was imperative to share this information with all of you. I am sure this is confusing and hurtful to you as well,” Branagan wrote in his message to the school community.

Middleborough Police Chief Joseph Perkins said an officer dispatched to the High School, located at 71 East Grove St., at 7:40 a.m. Sunday.

Perkins confirmed that the responding officer found spray-painted tags of hateful language and imagery on the side of the school building, including a swastika.

“There is no place for the type of hate these individuals put on display at Middleborough High School, and we are committed to working with the school administration and our community partners to both investigate the crime that took place and address the messages themselves,” Perkins said in a statement.

School officials and police investigators worked together to review surveillance camera footage, which showed two suspects who are believed to be involved in the graffiti incident.

Branagan said the school’s facilities team is working to remove the graffiti from the high school once police collect the evidence that they need for their investigation. All vandalism is being covered until an outside cleaning company arrives on site Monday to work to remove the spray paint from the outside of the school building.

“I need to make something absolutely clear; I am beyond frustrated that this happened at our school. The hateful symbols and threats have no place on our campus and within our community. This behavior will not be tolerated on any level. The actions of whomever vandalized our home does not define our school or the strength of our community. … The actions that took place overnight are beyond hurtful and we will work to ensure that whomever did this will be brought to justice,” Branagan wrote.

Anyone with information that could help police or school officials identify whomever is responsible for the vandalism is asked to contact any member of the MHS administrative team or the Middleborough Police Department at 508-947-1212.