Administrators at a Bethesda middle school found numerous images of a swastika drawn on a boys’ bathroom wall Friday, the second such incident at the school in the past two weeks.
In a letter sent home to parents of students at Westland Middle School in Bethesda, principal Alison Serino said the school has contacted the Montgomery County Police Department to investigate the acts of vandalism.
“We are very saddened by this incident,” Serino wrote. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated. Once the culprit(s) are identified, consequences will be administered in accordance with the MCPS Student Code of Conduct.”
In an interview Friday, Serino said that she was “sad and disturbed” about the incidents and that she and her staff are planning to address the issue with students when they return next week.
“I think we need to double down on our efforts about respect, knowledge of one another, and understanding where people are coming from,” she said. “I think it’s a really important time to be an educator.”
Serino said that the incidents have caused “concern and worry” for the school’s students. She added that while the school year has been mostly typical so far, “there is heightened awareness around race, ethnicity and religion” as a result of the presidential election.