Hamden High School and Hamden Police are investigating after a student discovered anti-Semitic comments and swastikas written inside a bathroom stall.
School leaders say the graffiti was discovered in two separate student bathrooms with each location containing similar handwritten words and images.
The graffiti did not indicate any specific or imminent threats.
The event sparked a lot of emotion from Hamden High School senior Jack Shane.
“There’s no place for that and that doesn’t belong in any school,” said Shane. “Everyone should see it as a problem, not just kids who are necessarily affected by it.”
A letter from school officials states: “The administration takes an uncompromising stance against such abhorrent, exclusionary displays and is investigating the matter alongside school security and the Hamden Police Department to identify and hold the offending party accountable.”
Board of Education member Walter Morton is a 2009 graduate. Morton says the incident is a poor representation of his alma mater and Hamden Public Schools.
“Those types of remarks and images have no place in this community,” said Morton. “We will not stand for hate speech, or inflammatory and racial remarks.”
This summer, HHS student ambassadors began working with the Anti-Defamation League in pursuit of being the organization’s first No Place For Hate school in Connecticut.
Michelle Pincince is the education director with the Anti-Defemination League.
"It's disheartening that this is happening on such a consistent basis," said Pincince. “It is absolutely deferential to our educational process if we don’t have an inclusive and respectful school environment.”
The ADL and several Hamden student ambassadors are working together to spread awareness about the dangers of hateful graffiti.
"We are putting together a number of different programs that reach the entire student body,” said Pincince. “Our goal is to create several different school-wide programs that will get students talking to each other, that will help break down barriers.”
It’s a painful reminder from the past for Zoey Hoffman Kamrat.
Last year, the Hamden High junior says she experienced hate-speech first hand.
“This year started off really well and I could kind of feel like I could forget what happened last year and then this incident happened again,” said Hoffman Kamrat. “I think it’s popping up again, the administration is handling it pretty well by telling everyone about it.”
Hoffman Kamrat is hoping to work with the administration to put together a forum about the dangers of hate-speech.