A swastika found on a Haverford High School tennis court is the third anti-Semitic incident in recent days in Delaware County.
Things are getting dicey in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Last week we reported on an incident at Swarthmore College, when a student found two swastikas spray-painted on the wall of a bathroom stall of the school’s McCabe Library.
The week before that, we reported on a swastika spray-painted on a Havertown resident’s trash bin (as well as and swastika graffiti that defaced a playground in Lakewood, N.J.).
Now we learn that on Aug. 28, a Haverford resident notified police of a swastika, alongside an encircled five-pointed star, scrawled onto the surface of a tennis court at Haverford High School. The tennis court had been locked up because it was awaiting repairs.
The communications coordinator for the Haverford Township School District, Anna Deacon, said, “The school district has a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior,” and noted that the graffiti was removed as soon as they learned about it. The District is now cooperating with the police in an investigation.
“The discovery on the swastika, as well as a symbol that’s either Satanic or Wiccan, was one of three different instances of swastikas in an 11-day period in Delaware County,” said the Anti-Defamation League’s Nancy Baron-Baer. “One is one too many, so three incidents are three times more than we should see.”
The ADL is in contact with Haverford High School, she said, and is encouraging the school to use the incident as a teachable moment for its student body.
“It’s important for institutions to make sure that their constituencies are made aware of an incident like this when it occurs to be sure that the message is unified and the rumor mill is quieted,” she added.
Update: Friday, 10:46 a.m.: Haverford Township Police Sgt. Shant Bedrossian told us yesterday the investigation is still open at this point. “It looks like something done by juveniles,” he said, noting that the symbols and profanity were just scratched into the surface of the court, or maybe chalked. He also said he’s glad the graffiti was removed quickly, so that the person who did it doesn’t derive any satisfaction from the act.
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