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Maryland School Discovers Swastika in Students’ Bathroom

A teacher at South River High found a swastika drawn on the wall of the boys’ bathroom, according to a letter sent home on Thursday. The school is investigating the matter to find out who is responsible for “this act of hate,” states the letter by Principal William Myers.

School officials believe the incident occurred during or after student arrival because the drawing was not there yesterday evening while custodial crews cleaned and the bathroom was locked until this morning, according to the letter. Myers also called the behavior unacceptable.

“Swastikas are very clear symbols of hate and have historically, though not exclusively, been directed toward the Jewish community,” Myers said in the letter. “Our school system has a clear policy to address bias-motivated behavior and the consequences for violating our policies are stipulated in our student handbook.”

From the 2014 to 2015 school year to the 2018 to 2019, the school has documented eight bias-motivated behavior reports, which are reports of incidents of discrimination among students in Anne Arundel public schools. According to the school system’s bias reports data, the school system has seen the highest amount of reports in 2018 to 2019 with 244 incidents.

According to the Board of Education, bias behavior is defined as “behavior offense committed against a person or property which is motivated by the offender’s bias, a negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based upon their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.”

Myers also urged parents to talk to their children about acceptance and inclusion as this an “obligation every one of us has to simply be kind to each other.” He said the letter is also meant to inform the community so that students can receive support.

Earlier this year, South River High School sent a letter to parents after a report a racial slur was painted on an athletic mat at South River High School’s stadium sometime after a junior varsity lacrosse game and before it was discovered the next morning.

Source: https://www.capitalgazette.com/education/ac-cn-south-river-20191031-dcetbmfckrax5ixjmjw4iminle-story.html