Another despicable symbol of hate has been placed at a school in Evanston/Skokie District 65.
According to a community message from Superintendent Devon Horton, a staff member reported finding “swastikas along with racist and hurtful messages written on stalls in two bathrooms” on Thursday.
Horton said the community is “still reeling from the hateful act” of nooses being hung outside Haven and Kingsley schools on May 13.
The noose, with its connection to lynchings, is one of the ugliest symbols of anti-Black hatred and violence.
“And now,” Horton stated, “to find swastikas, a symbol of terror and hatred towards the Jewish community, we are reminded once again that antisemitism, racism, and white supremacy are alive and well within our community.”
The superintendent said that hate symbols cause ongoing and long-lasting harm, “creating futher division and distance,” with a need for “repercussion and repair.”
He said “there is no doubt that these are learned behaviors and clearly with well established roots.”
Horton stated that the district’s mental health team will be available for any students who may need support in processing this latest incident. He added that there will also be “a learning opportunity for students and an opportunity for reflection, ongoing dialogue, and action.”
The bathrooms in question were immediately closed, and the Evanston Police Department was contacted to help in the investigation.
“We take this outward and intentional act of hate extremely seriously,” Horton said.
He said incidents such as the nooses and the swastikas prove the need for ongoing efforts “to dismantle institutional racism, combat bias, [and] disrupt the status quo — all in an effort to truly foster a sense of belonging, welcomeness, and physical and emotional safety within our schools.”
Horton said this should have been the time to celebrate and honor eighth grade graduates.
And while there is much to celebrate, the superintendent noted that it is critical to “name these hateful acts as they occur, and create opportunities for healing and repair so that we can truly stand together as a community.”