Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Two Connecticut Middle Schools Defaced by Nazi Imagery

Western Middle School in Greenwich, Conn. Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

A swastika and offensive graffiti were found at two Greenwich middle schools recently, adding to the list of antisemitic incidents that have occurred in town and statewide.

At Western Middle School, graffiti was found on a bathroom wall and at Central Middle School, a swastika was found on a divider in a testing area, school officials said. 

“Our school administration teams investigated both issues and will continue to work with families directly if a student should act in a way which is not appropriate,” Superintendent Toni Jones wrote in a Sunday email to the school district’s community. “If our investigation finds any act of violence or belligerence, we do not hesitate to involve the Greenwich Police Department.” 

The two weekend antisemitic findings are not the only ones that have occurred this school year in Greenwich: At Greenwich High School, a swastika was found carved into a lab table and covered up with reference sheets, Jones reported. 

As a result of the incidents, Jones said that district officials have received many questions from families “about what (Greenwich Public Schools) does with our students and programs on an annual basis to support understanding of diversity for all, and what we are doing now to help as we navigate stressful times for many of our families as we watch the local, national and international landscape of challenges for our young people to navigate,” Jones wrote.

In the email, Jones said that the district’s students start to learn about the specifics of the Holocaust in sixth grade; in eighth grade, when they are on their Washington, D.C., trip, students get a chance to visit the Holocaust Museum. 

She added that the district works with the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that combats antisemitism and extremism, for programming that includes Names Day, an annual anti-bullying event that ninth graders participate in. This year, the ADL will be at Greenwich High School on Nov. 21 for this year’s Names Day. 

“In 2020, GHS was recognized as the only high school in Connecticut with such a long-standing commitment to this program,” Jones wrote.   

In her email, Jones said district officials are aware of the state-wide uptick in antisemitic incidents, but wrote “we can assure our community that we are not seeing a rash of hate crimes or any behaviors out of the ordinary for a system of 8,600 students.”

“But hate rhetoric, whether in spoken or written form, is hurtful and concerning,” Jones wrote. “School administration deals with each case through thoughtful and thorough investigations. As a parent, you understand that young children and teens act inappropriately for many different reasons, including a lack of understanding, cognitive or emotional challenges or not being thoughtful that their words and actions can be hurtful to others.”

Source: https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/education/article/greenwich-antisemitic-graffiti-swastikas-middle-18471404.php