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Racist, antisemitic graffiti found on school playground in Manhattan Beach

LA Times logo LA Times 7/22/2022 Itzel Luna

A Manhattan Beach elementary school was vandalized with racist and antisemitic graffiti this week, authorities said.

The incident occurred at Meadows Elementary School between midnight and 2 a.m. Thursday, said Christopher Iniguez, a city spokesperson.

Pictures posted to Reddit on Thursday showed a racial slur, vulgar images, and a swastika written in orange spray paint on the school's playground.

School staff discovered the graffiti and immediately notified authorities, Manhattan Beach Unified School District spokesperson Hibah Samad said in a statement. The graffiti was cleaned off by the school's facilities team, Samad said.

The graffiti was painted onto "the playground asphalt, across sports courts and other playground features, and on playground equipment," Samad said. There was also property damage to a storage container on the playground. Samad said.

"Hate and any form of discrimination have no place in our community or our schools. Our district prides itself in our Inclusion Stand Up Commitment and we are committed to ensuring that all of our students and families are valued, cared for and supported," Samad said.

The incident happened a day after a ceremony to celebrate the return of oceanfront property known as Bruce's Beach to Anthony and Derrick Bruce, descendants of the original property owners, Willa and Charles. It marked the first time that the government has returned land that was wrongfully taken from a Black family.

But Iniguez said officials do not believe there is a connection between the ceremony and the vandalism at the school.

This is the latest incident in a string of antisemitic vandalism across schools in Manhattan Beach. In February, there were five incidents of antisemitic vandalism at Mira Costa High School within three weeks. That same week, antisemitic graffiti was found at Robinson Elementary School.

In December, stickers containing antisemitic hate speech were placed throughout the city.

Police are investigating the incident at Meadows Elementary.

"We are working with the Manhattan Beach Police Department as they conduct their investigation to make sure that we do everything possible to identify and hold accountable anyone who had any part in this incident," Samad said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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