Two schools in Denver were vandalized with antisemitic graffiti some time over the weekend.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the nonprofit JEWISHcolorado, George Washington High School was spray-painted with swastikas as well as racist and homophobic statements on the evening of October 16 on the school’s buildings and running track. The following night, the Denver Academy of Torah, which is about a mile away from the high school, had its windows smashed with rocks and its electrical power box was damaged. A suspect also reportedly shouted antisemitic slurs when confronted by an unknown individual.
The two incidents are not believed to be connected.
“We will not tolerate this reprehensible act of hate in our community and condemn these actions,” George Washington High School Principal Kristin Waters told parents in an October 18 email, adding that the school is “doing everything possible to identify who is responsible for this horrific hate crime.”
Abigail Boyd, an alumnus of both schools, told a local Fox affiliate: “I don’t really understand why people don’t understand that [Judaism is] just a culture. It’s something that we believe in. It’s just like being a Christian or something else.”
ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin said in a statement, “It is deeply disturbing that a Jewish school and a public high school were targeted with vandalism and hateful graffiti overnight in Denver.” He added that “hateful behavior will not be tolerated in our community” and “all students, whether they attend a religious school or a public school, deserve to learn in an environment free of intimidation and intolerance.”
Rabbi Jay Spear, CEO and President of JEWISHcolorado, said in a statement to CBS Denver, “Vandalism and hate speech of this kind are alarming and make students of all backgrounds feel unsafe in the school environment.” He thanked Waters for her email condemning the vandalism and vowed that JEWISHcolorado will “do everything we can to support the school leadership and its student body to heal from these destructive and hateful acts.”
Stop Antisemitism tweeted, “If you think this disease of hate isn’t in your backyard, think again.”
A Jewish high school in Denver, Colorado had a window smashed and its electrical box cut.
A mile away another high school was vandalized with antisemitic, homophobic graffiti.
If you think this disease of hate isn't in your backyard, think again. https://t.co/EpYWGtFkcT
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) October 19, 2021