The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after someone vandalized the Mechanicsville High School football field with graffiti, according to school officials.
“To our disbelief, this vandalism included a swastika. This obscene symbol of pure hate and intolerance has no place in our society and stands in direct opposition to the principles of unity, respect, and inclusion that we hold dear at our school and across our school division,” Principal Charles Stevens and Superintendent Michael Gill wrote in a message to the community. “We are fully committed to holding those responsible for this disgraceful and unthinkable act accountable for their actions. Additionally, we took immediate steps to remove the graffiti from the field.”
The letter went on to call the vandalism “an affront” to the school’s principles and values.
“We condemn this vile act of vandalism, antisemitism, and all forms of hatred in the strongest possible terms,” the letter read. “We are committed to being a school division where all students, faculty, staff, and community members feel welcome, valued, and safe. Again, we unequivocally denounce this vandalism and the hateful symbol used.”
A torrent of antisemitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric has flowed on social media worldwide amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday condemned what it says is an alarming increase in antisemitic incidents at U.S. schools and colleges.
A statement from the White House says the departments of Justice and Homeland Security have been hosting calls with campus law enforcement officials to offer support and address threats.