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Swastika Greets Students as they Start New School Year in Needham, Mass

On the first day of the new school year at Needham High School, a student found a small swastika scratched into a bathroom stall , the principal said in a statement to the school community.

The student reported the graffiti to a teacher on Tuesday, and the teacher brought it to the attention of administrators.

After reviewing footage from a hallway camera, staff concluded that the vandalism likely occurred over summer, Principal Aaron Sicotte said. .

“Since NHS was heavily used by a variety of programs during the summer, it will be very difficult to identify who may have done it or exactly when it happened,” Sicotte said in a statement.

The graffiti was documented by administration and resource officers and removed, the principal said.

Sicotte spoke to the school Wednesday about the incident “ . . . to stress that hate like this – hate of any nature – has no place at Needham High School,” the statement said.

In the coming days, students will have conversations in their homerooms about “the impact of hateful actions like this,” Sicotte said.

The swastika is the latest example of racist graffiti found at Needham High in recent years.

According to previous Globe reporting, a staff member found “the N word” written on a stall in a boys’ bathroom in January. In December 2018, a student found anti-Semitic, racist, and homophobic graffiti in a boys’ bathroom. In May 2018, a swastika was found near the school entrance. In December 2017, about 300 students participated in an hourlong walkout to protest racist and homophobic graffiti, the Globe reported.

Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/09/04/swastika-found-bathroom-needham-high/yretPdR5p3HXE35fDZPwAL/story.html