Antisemitic graffiti found in NJ high school bathroom

✅ The content of the antisemitic graffiti was not revealed

✅ There was a delay in reporting the incident to police

✅ The school has created a Google Doc for reporting future instances of hate speech

MAPLEWOOD — Police are investigating the discovery of antisemitic graffiti found in a bathroom at Columbia High School.

In a statement, the Maplewood Township Committee said parents were notified earlier in the week about an antisemitic message found scratched into the paint of a girls bathroom stall. Officials have not revealed what the message said.

The antisemitic graffiti was reported to police on Thursday, according to officials. It was not disclosed why there was a delay in reporting the graffiti to police.

“The Maplewood Township Committee unequivocally condemns this antisemitic act – it is vile and dangerous, as it directly threatens the safety of students in our schools. This is unacceptable and intolerable behavior,” the committee and Maplewood police wrote in a joint statement. “Hate has no home in Maplewood, we will continue to call out bigotry and antisemitism wherever and whenever.”

In an email to parents on Thursday, Principal Frank Sanchez said he shared with students how disappointed he was about the antisemitic message.

‘I know we are in difficult times and some of our most socially conscious students don’t feel comfortable even discussing the current war in Israel, but this graffiti is not about a ceasefire or establishing a two-state solution,” Sanchez wrote in his email to parents. “It is not a criticism of the current Netanyahu government. Instead, it’s just hate speech, and we can’t allow that here at Columbia.”

Sanchez said a Google Doc was created to allow students to report any hate speech they see or hear.

“Acts such as these are in direct opposition to everything the district represents and aspires to become, a school district where all students know they belong and appreciate each other’s beliefs, identities and humanities. Our school grounds should be a safe, inclusive, and caring learning environment for all students,” South Orange-Maplewood Acting Superintendent of Schools Kevin Gilbert wrote in a statement Friday.

CBS New York reported that racial slurs and racist graffiti was discovered at the school in 2017.

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