Officials: Swastikas found twice in Westfield HS bathrooms in less than a week

Messages of hate popped up in a Union County high school twice in less than a week.

News 12 Staff

Dec 9, 2021, 9:27 PM

Updated 946 days ago


Messages of hate popped up in a Union County high school twice in less than a week.
“I am disheartened this happened at our school,” Westfield High School Principal Mary Asfendis said during Thursday’s morning announcements. “It’s a stain on our reputation and our community."
Hateful graffiti was found in the school bathroom for the second time in just a few days. Last week, a swastika was found etched on a stall in the girls’ bathroom. Two more were found on Wednesday, along with a racial slur.
“While copycat incidents are not uncommon, we have a pervasive problem of antisemitism and intolerance at our high school,” Asfendis said.
With both incidents being investigated, school administrators are urging all students to stand up against acts of hate and to hold their classmates accountable. A schoolwide discussion on the impacts of hateful acts on the community is planned for later this month.
Some students say that it should happen sooner.
“This is happening right now. We shouldn’t be waiting two weeks to have a meeting about it,” says senior Sabrina Harrison.
Harrison says that the incidents are not surprising. She says she has been hearing about hate graffiti on school property since her freshman year.
“Being in school with people willing to do that makes me upset, personally, and I just want to be in a safe community. I hope we can put this to an end,” she says.
The Westfield Police Department is involved in the investigation. Anyone found to be responsible for the graffiti will face the highest level of consequences.
School officials say that they have closed under-utilized bathrooms, increased monitoring at those bathrooms still open and school resource officers have intensified routes in the hallways.
Perpetrators of any bias incident at the high school will face mandatory suspension. Anyone found guilty will be referred to juvenile court where they face civil penalties.

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