November 18, 2019

Swastikas Found at Connecticut Elementary School

Photo from Good Free Photos.

There were three swastikas found on a wall at a sixth-grade-only school in Glastonbury, Ct. on Nov. 7, the Hartford Courant reports.

The swastikas were etched into an auditorium wall at Gideon Welles School. Principal Kent Hurlburt told community members in an email that the school will use the swastikas as “a teachable moment,” per the Courant. The school is working with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to develop a program about tolerance.

“We will do the work needed to instill in our community that this type of incident is not tolerated and will be addressed with education and understanding,” Hurlburt wrote in the email, per the Courant. “We remain constantly committed to our school standards of CARE, RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY for our students, staff and community.”

ADL Connecticut Assistant Director Andy Friedland told the Courant, “It’s important for schools to step up and challenge this when they happen and reach out to the community… people feel targeted and scared and don’t feel welcome when symbols like this are discovered.”

The Stop Antisemitism.org watchdog tweeted, “Just a week after a #Connecticut #synagogue was evacuated due to a bomb threat, yet ANOTHER school in the state discovers #antisemitic graffiti!”

On Oct. 25, Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, Ct. received two bomb threats, resulting in the evacuation. The person suspected of making the threats was a Florida man in his 60s; authorities determined there was no threat to the temple.

Other recent instances of swastika graffiti at schools in Connecticut include several swastikas carved on a bathroom stall door at Staples High School in Westport on Sept. 12 and a student used deodorant to draw a swastika at Southington High School in Southington on Sept. 16. There have also been several instances of swastikas at Middlesex Middle School in Darien, as there were multiple swastikas drawn on classroom windows on Sept. 9 at Middlesex Middle School in Darien, another on a bathroom door on Sept. 16 at the same school, and a swastika found drawn on a desk with a pencil eraser on Oct. 28.