Students react after swastikas found drawn on Broward high school’s bathroom walls

Poppy Slater

DAVIE, Fla. – A disturbing discovery was made inside a Broward County high school.

Several swastikas were drawn all over the walls inside a bathroom at Western High School in Davie.

A parent sent Local 10 News the photos after his son spotted them at school. That parent said it’s not a funny joke and students shouldn’t have to deal with hatred in display.

“I honestly think it’s really stupid there’s no need to do that,” one Western student said Tuesday morning.

Another student who attends the school was asked by Local 10 News’ Saira Anwer what they think should happen to the person responsible.

“Suspension or expulsion,” the student replied.

A Broward Schools representative said the custodial staff found the offensive graffiti last Friday night after school.

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They worked to immediately remove it, and now Davie police are involved.

“That’s not right, it’s not okay, it’s very disrespectful,” another student told Local 10 News.

This isn’t the first issue at Western High lately. Back in March, a peaceful protest at the school against the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill turned violent when counter protesters showed up.

“There was a lot of discrimination, a lot of bullying, there was a lot of… a lot of people were hurt,” said Western High student Marco Tani.

And, on May 2, just a few miles to the north, another swastika was found on a bathroom wall at Westglades Middle School.

A parent of a sixth grader at the school sent Local 10 News a photo of the symbol, saying she worries the community is turning a blind eye to these sorts of incidents.

But what might be most concerning is when Local 10 News’ crews asked some students their thoughts on the hateful symbols, most didn’t even know what they were at first.

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The Anti-Defamation League’s Florida Region Director, Sarah Emmons, says that’s why education, is so important.

“It’s critically important that our leadership, government officials, all of us say ‘this is not okay in our community we don’t stand by this,’ because children learn from us and we need to model the right behavior,” Emmons said.

In a statement, Broward Schools said that the individuals responsible will face disciplinary consequences, adding that the district does not tolerate displays of bigotry and hate.

The statement reads:

“Broward County Public Schools does not tolerate displays of bigotry and hate and is committed to educating students about the profound impact of bias. As soon as the image was discovered on Monday, May 2, facilities personnel on campus had it cleaned up within minutes, and a report was filed with the Broward Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy. The school regrets that such an incident took place on its campus, as it places great emphasis on creating an environment of acceptance and tolerance for the entire school community, which includes participating in the Anti-Defamation League’s student-driven anti-bias program “No Place For Hate.” Any student (s) who participated in this incident will face disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Code for Student Conduct.”

Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.

https://www.local10.com/news/local/2022/05/17/students-react-after-swastikas-found-drawn-on-broward-high-schools-bathroom-walls/

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