WESTFIELD, NJ — Police are looking into swastikas and racist graffiti found written in pencil on classroom furniture, the Westfield High School Principal said Thursday.

Principal Mary Asfendis in an email to parents said authorities discovered the graffiti on a small area on the furniture Dec. 20 and quickly handled it.

“While the investigation is ongoing, I did want to you to know the situation was quickly addressed. Police were notified and the graffiti was promptly removed,” Asfendis said. “While this most recent incident is upsetting I am hopeful when I see the positive work we are doing each day in our school to join together and have difficult conversations about bias and discrimination.”

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Asfendis said that the school’s “No Place for Hate” committee has gotten climate survey data and is planning more activities to target concerns surrounding anti-Semitism and racism at the high school. No Place for Hate is a program of the Anti-Defamation League for which 1,600 schools nationwide have been chosen to design and implement activities to combat bias and bullying.

“The committee is comprised of students, parents and staff,” Asfendis said. “I will be joining their next meeting to discuss the graffiti and their perspectives on steps forward.”

She said the graffiti is not reflective of the school community as a whole.

“It is the act of an individual and does not represent who we are as community or that we tolerate any acts of hatred, anti-Semitism or racism at Westfield High School,” Asfendis said.

It is the second such incident reported to have occurred at Westfield public schools this school year after officials found and removed swastikas at the high school in October.

Email: Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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