By Kevin Deutsch
For the second time this month, a swastika has been found at Westglades Middle School, records show.
The hateful symbol was found drawn on a lunch table on May 11 at the school at 11ooo Holmberg Road, according to an incident summary provided by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
The discovery follows the May 2 discovery of a swastika drawn in marker on a bathroom wall at the school.
In the most recent incident, two seventh-grade students spotted the swastika shortly after 11:30 a.m. and reported it to the administration, BSO records show.
“Both of these unfortunate incidents took place at Westglades Middle School,” said John J. Sullivan, Chief Communications Officer for Broward County Public Schools. “As soon as custodial staff at the school discovered the offensive bathroom graffiti, it was immediately removed, and the incident was reported to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Subsequently, the student involved was identified and has faced discipline in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct. The cafeteria incident remains under investigation. The school regrets that these incidents took place on its campus and is continuing to work with the Anti-Defamation League to help further educate students about the negative impact of bias.”
A school district spokeswoman later said the district had “received clarification that both incidents involved the same student” and that the student “faces disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct.”
The Anti-Defamation League has said it is offering support and educational resources to Westglades Middle.
Antisemitic incidents have been rising across Broward County, statewide, and nationally, data show.
According to recently released statistics compiled by the ADL, Florida saw a dramatic 50 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in 2021 with 190 incidents. That surge followed a 40 percent increase from 2019 to 2020.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jews were the target of 55 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020, despite accounting for no more than 2 percent of the United States population.
The House of Representatives Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the rise of antisemitism in America, with one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Thomas Massie (KY), voting against the resolution. Eight other Republicans declined to vote.
“There is a documented and dangerous rise of antisemitism globally and in the United States, where Jews are increasingly affected by the grotesque spread of misinformation and lies including blame for the spread of COVID–19, false claims including the control of the media and the financial system, accusations of dual loyalty, and a multitude of negative stereotypes,” reads part of the resolution, which passed 420-1.
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