Hate-based incidents surge in suburban school system in Maryland

Source: The Washington Post

 July 11
School incidents involving hate symbols and racial slurs appear to have more than tripled during the past school year in a suburb outside Washington and are helping drive a surge in bias-related acts investigated by police.

Since October, more than three dozen bias incidents have been reported by or linked to schools in Montgomery County, mostly involving vandalism with swastikas, racial epithets or other bigoted messages, according to a Washington Post analysis of information provided by police and school officials.

The incidents started amid a divisive presidential campaign last fall and went on long after Election Day, even as the district’s top leader called the acts unacceptable and warned of disciplinary action. More than 25 schools reported problems, including graffiti saying “Brown people suck” and “Heil Hitler.” Images of swastikas appeared on desks, walls, mirrors, a laptop computer and a high school football field.

“The swastika — a symbol of intolerance and hatred — has absolutely no place in our school,” Louise Worthington, the principal at Baker Middle School in Damascus, wrote to parents in one of many such letters that went home from county schools in recent months.

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