Swastikas keep appearing at Connecticut high school amid Israel-Hamas war

Police in Connecticut are investigating after swastikas were found drawn on a high school campus for the second time since the outbreak of conflict in the Middle East.

The latest symbols were discovered on Friday by students on the tennis courts of the AITE campus, in Stamford. The action was condemned by authorities as “abhorrent and antisemitic”.

A statement – written by Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons, Board of Education president Jackie Heftman and district superintendent Tamu Lucero – said this was the second time such “symbols of hate” had been drawn since the brutal attacks by Hamas on October 7.

The statement said it was unclear if the vandalism had been perpetrated by a member of the public, or a student.

“We unequivocally denounce this abhorrent antisemitic act and we reached out personally to members of the Jewish faith community in Stamford to inform them of this incident,” the statement said.

“This is the second time that swastikas have been discovered on the AITE campus since Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel on October 7.

“As all Stamford Public Schools campuses are open to the public when school is not in session, we have no indication that either incident was perpetrated by a member of the school community.”

The statement continued: “[This] incident is yet another reminder that we must denounce hate in all its forms. Antisemitism, racism, hate speech, bullying, or the dissemination of hate-related symbols will not be tolerated in the City of Stamford or Stamford Public Schools.

“Everyone in our community – especially the young people who attend our schools – deserve respect and to live, work, and learn without fear of being targeted based on their faith, nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.”

Swastikas were discovered for the second time by students on a campus in Stamford on Friday (Getty Images)
Swastikas were discovered for the second time by students on a campus in Stamford on Friday (Getty Images)

The statement urged families to report antisemitic incidents at their own schools, and said that matters could be escalated to the Superintendent’s office if necessary. The city will also be partnering with local faith leaders and community organisations to offer “anti-bias programming” in both middle and high schools.

“We want to be clear that under no circumstances should a student or staff member feel bullied, targeted, or singled out based on their faith,” the statement said.

Since the outbreak of the war advocacy groups including the Anti-defamation League (ADL) have reported large spikes in the number of hate crime incidents reported.

On October 14, a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy and his mother were brutally attacked in Chicago. Wadea Al-Fayoume was stabbed 26 times and died following the incident, though his mother, Hanaan Shahin, survived.