Massachusetts high school vandalised with swastika, hateful language

Massachusetts high school vandalised with swastika, hateful language
The school’s director of facilities found the ‘deeply unsettling’ graffiti on Sunday, which included a swastika

Police in Middleborough, Massachusetts are asking the public to help them identify two suspects wanted in connection to “extensive” vandalism left on the outside wall of a local high school and the “direct threat” made against the principal of the school, CBS reported.

Principal Paul Branagan of Middleborough High School wrote in a letter to the community on Sunday that the school’s director of facilities had found the “deeply unsettling” graffiti, which included spray-painted tags with hateful language and imagery, including a swastika.

“I need to make something absolutely clear; I am beyond frustrated that this happened at our school,” Mr Branagan wrote in the letter. “The hateful symbols and threats have no place on our campus and within our community. This behaviour will not be tolerated on any level.”

Police were dispatched to the building at around 7.40am local time and covered the perimeter of the affected exterior wall until cleaning crews could come and remove the “disturbing” graffiti tags from the wall.

“There is no place for the type of hate these individuals put on display at Middleborough High School, and we are committed to working with the school administration and our community partners to both investigate the crime that took place and address the messages themselves,” Chief Joseph Perkins said in a news release, according to Boston.com.

Images from surveillance video were released by local police in an effort to help identify the two suspects wanted for questioning in relation to the vandalism.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call Middleborough Police Department.

The most recent data available from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in Massachusetts found that reported hate crimes rose in the state from 2019 to 2020 from 376 to 385.

The most frequent offences cited in that report was vandalism, damage or destruction of property, accounting for 32.9 per cent of all hate crimes reported.

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