NEW YORK, NY - Responding to media reports -- including an April 15 report from TAPinto Summit -- that detailed the discovery of another hate symbol in a Summit Public School, the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) New York regional office has expressed its "deep concern today after learning of yet another swastika incident at a middle school in Summit, New Jersey, following five prior incidents over the past several months."
The ADL went on to state that, "These incidents are a sad reminder of an observable trend that the ADL has been tracking in New Jersey over the past two quarters."
Superintendent of Schools June Chang, in his monthly remarks at the April 11 Summit Board of Education Meeting, said that a swastika was found in the sixth floor girls bathroom at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS).
“We did go one month without, but I’m sad that I have to report this,” he said.
Chang said that the swastika was “removed” and that the District would continue to provide educational programming about hate speech. He urged parents to have “dialogues” with their children about these incidents.
All told, since late November of 2018, there have been six known incidents as reported by Summit Public Schools officials:
- Swastikas were found at LCJSMS prior to the 2018 Thanksgiving break.
- Swastikas and "additional offensive drawings" were found at LCJSMS immediately after that same Thanksgiving break.
- Swastikas were found carved into stalls in a boys bathroom at Summit High School, school principal Stacy Grimaldi announced on November 30, 2018.
- Grimaldi disclosed that additional "hateful symbols and words" were found December 10, 2018, in Summit High School bathrooms.
- During the Summit Board of Education meeting this past January, it was reported that two swastikas were recently found at LCJSMS.
- Additional swastikas are found at LCJSMS as disclosed at the April 11 Board meeting.
“This hateful symbol has no place in our schools or in our communities, said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL NY/NJ Regional Director. “We must continue to speak out and condemn this behavior, and we must remain steadfast in our commitment to educating young people about the atrocities of anti-Semitism and all forms of hate. To do otherwise would be contrary to everything that we stand for here in New Jersey.”
The ADL. an anti-hate organization, was founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry. Its mission is to "protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all" and states its "ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate."