Search for vandals who struck terror in Jewish students with swastikas continues

Broward County Public Schools is investigating anti-semitic graffiti incidents at two schools.

DAVIE, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools announced there was yet another finding of anti-semitic graffiti on Tuesday and warned there are ongoing investigations to find the culprits.

A vandal spray-painted a swastika and a student reported it on Tuesday morning at Western High School in Davie. The symbol is widely associated with neo-Nazism ideology and it was also on display at the same school on Friday.

Westglades Middle School in Parkland recently had the same type of vandalism. Even after workers removed the graffiti, the images struck terror in many Jewish students.

Many of the students at Western High School didn’t know why there was outrage.

They didn’t know that Adolf Hitler appropriated the swastika as part of the official emblem of the Nazi Party. They also didn’t know that it symbolized Hitler’s “mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man.”

A mission that under Hitler’s German Reich Flag fueled antisemitism. It also justified the antisemitic laws that paved the way for the Holocaust, the best-documented case of genocide. An estimated 6 million Jews were killed from 1941 to 1945.

The vandals’ hate speech at Western High School and Westglades Middle School cut deep for at least one student who told his mother he was afraid to go back to school. His parents said they immediately thought about the recent massacre at a New York supermarket.

Payton S. Gendron, 18, used Discord, an instant messaging platform, to share the racist and antisemitic views that fueled his belief in replacement theory, the fear of the extinction of the white race. He killed 10 people in Buffalo.

Broward County Public Schools is asking anyone with information about threats at public schools to call the District Security Operations Center at 754-321-3500.

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About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.