Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mass.: Swastika prank taken seriously
ANDOVER — After three incidents this school year of swastikas being drawn on desks at Andover High, school officials said they have had enough.

The incidents are being viewed as hate speech, possibly hate crimes. School officials reached out to the Andover Police department on Tuesday to investigate the incidents. The school has also reached out to the New England Anti-Defamation league, as well as local clergy and civic leaders.

"We felt that if it was going to be a repeated occurrence then this is more than just a simple incident, that this was something that was being repeated and we had to confront," Superintendent of Andover Public Schools Sheldon Berman said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"We had originally hoped to approach this problem quietly, so as not to alarm any students or staff or make individuals feel unwelcome," Berman wrote in a letter to parents, guardians, and staff. "However, we found that this restrained response was apparently emboldening the perpetrators, exposing even more students to intolerance. So we are implementing a more direct plan."

Berman is asking any student involved or who has information on these events to come forward. Depending on the outcome of the police investigation, those responsible may face felony hate crime charges in addition to school disciplinary action such as suspension.

Two of the three teachers in the classrooms with desks vandalized with swastikas are Jewish. The most recent incident occurred on Tuesday, the first day of Hannukah. The second incident had occurred only a few days prior.

According to Berman, the hate speech struck home for the teachers involved.



Stan B said...

We have entered the era of "thought crime," where misdemeanor vandalism now becomes a felony because - hate! Whether it was true hate, or simply done as a prank to get a rise out of the teachers in question is irrelevant.

"Hate Crime" needs to be found "unconstitutionally vague," as hate goes to motive, and you are now punishing assumed thoughts.

Bird of Paradise said...

Go to some University shout Merry Christmas and watch as they run for their playpens,and and their liberal coloring books

Anonymous said...

Eh - I was known to draw the odd swastika here and there when I was younger.
Not because I was a Nazi, just because it was an interesting symbol.
While this could be something sinister equally it could be kids being typical dumb kids.