Swastika graffiti found at Freeport school playground

Police are investigating after a swastika was found carved in a playground slide at the Morse Street School in Freeport.

Regional School Unit 5 Superintendent Jean Skorapa said the symbol was removed Tuesday.

“RSU 5 stands for respect and inclusivity of all who walk through our doors,” she said in a statement. “It is tremendously disheartening that this occurred at one of our schools. We condemn hateful actions such as this meant to demean others.”

Someone carved a swastika inside this slide at the Morse Street School in Freeport. Courtesy photo

The swastika, about the size of an outstretched hand, was carved on the inside of the plastic slide.

A Falmouth woman, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the symbol, said she was at the playground over Labor Day weekend with her two young sons and friends from out of state when one of her sons went down the slide and saw it.

“I was horrified,” she said. “It is disturbing to find on your streets and playgrounds.”

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She said her son recognized the symbol from “Indiana Jones” movies. She said her friends with her that day are Jewish.

“Their kids were shaken,” she said.

She said the symbol was neatly carved, as if done by an adult.

Skorapa said the district notified police about the discovery. Freeport police could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Morse Street School serves students in pre-kindergarten through second grade.

The woman who declined to be identified said she’s disturbed by recent neo-Nazi activity in Maine, including demonstrations in Portland and Augusta and prominent white nationalist Christopher Pohlhaus’ attempt to recruit others to northern Penobscot County, where he purchased land.

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“This is terrorism on its most basic level,” she said. “It is starting to be everywhere we turn, and my family found it in our kids’ faces.”

She said she was particularly disheartened for her Jewish friends who were with her at the playground.

“That was their parting impression of Maine,” she said. “They read about what was going on here and they saw it firsthand, and their question was, ‘Is this what this place is?’

“You want to tell them ‘no,’ but then you have people trying to make it that way loudly and proudly.”


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