Updated at 7:49 p.m.
WESTFIELD, NJ — Authorities are looking into hate-filled graffiti found at a local school Thursday and appear to have linked the crime to one student.
School officials condemned the hate crime at Edison Intermediate School but did not detail its full scope, and local police were not available Thursday to provide details on the incident. It comes the same day school officials in nearby Summit said they found swastikas at a school there.
“We are saddened and angry that one individual in our community has chosen hate,” Westfield Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan said in an email to parents. “That student chose to deface school property and attack various groups of people with graffiti. We condemn and reject that hatred. And, we recommit ourselves to work with our next generation, to reach all of our students and to make sure they continue this work for decades to come."
In October, school officials found a swastika in the bathroom of at Westfield Westfield's Franklin Elementary School. Also last month, a swastika and other vulgar, racist and anti-Semitic graffiti was found spray-painted on the exterior wall of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.
“We appreciate the ongoing support of the Westfield Police Department on this critical incident,” Dolan said in her statement. “I am sure you will understand that all information regarding students is confidential. We ask members of the community to speak with their children so that this is the last incident.”
Edison Intermediate School Principal Matt Bolton told parents that school officials will meet with students in each grade level on Friday to denounce the behavior. Bolton urged parents to speak with their children about the incident and remind them their words and actions matter.
“We take this act very seriously and are working with this student, their family, and the Westfield Police Department to ensure that this student understands the significance of their behavior,” Bolton wrote to Edison Intermediate School parents. “I hope you understand that I am limited in what I am able to share regarding the specific student and details of the incident.”
Staff Writer Matt Kadosh contributed to this report.