Swastikas were found drawn on the tennis courts at the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (AITE) on Oct. 27, according to the Stamford Public Schools District.
The antisemitic symbols were discovered by students who immediately reported them to AITE administrators, who then alerted the Stamford Police Department, school district leadership and the mayor’s office, a joint message said from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tamu Lucero, Board of Education Chair Jackie Heftman, and Mayor Caroline Simmons.
The Stamford Police Department is expected to issue a news release later today.
“We unequivocally denounce this abhorrent antisemitic act and we reached out personally to members of the Jewish faith community in Stamford to inform them of this incident,” Lucero, Heftman and Simmons said.
The city officials said this is the second time that swastikas have been discovered on the AITE campus since Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel on Oct. 7.
“As all Stamford Public Schools campuses are open to the public when school is not in session, we have no indication that either incident was perpetrated by a member of the school community,” the officials said.
“[Friday]’s incident is yet another reminder that we must denounce hate in all its forms. Antisemitism, racism, hate speech, bullying, or the dissemination of hate-related symbols will not be tolerated in the city of Stamford or Stamford Public Schools. Everyone in our community – especially the young people who attend our schools – deserve respect and to live, work, and learn without fear of being targeted based on their faith, nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation,” the message added.
The city and school district are aksing families to immediately report any antisemitic incidents at their school to the building principal or another administrator. If the school administration does not respond to reported concerns within 48 hours, the matter should be escalated to Lucero’s office via email at SPSSuper@stamfordct.gov.
“We want to be clear that under no circumstances should a student or staff member feel bullied, targeted, or singled out based on their faith,” Lucero, Heftman and Simmons said.
Additionally, the city and school district will be working with local faith leaders and community organizations to offer anti-bias programming in Stamford’s middle and high schools.
The effort will be led by Lucero, in partnership with Simmons’s office, and the associate superintendents who supervise the schools — Dr. Michael Fernandes and Dr. Lori Rhodes.
More information on the programming will be shared soon, the officials said.
“We will continue to work together to create a community in which every resident feels respected, accepted, and welcome,” Lucero, Heftman and Simmons said. “The students who reported this latest example of hate should be commended for setting a positive example for everyone in our community.”