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School District In Westchester Focuses On Hate Issues After Swastika Found

Farragut Middle School
Farragut Middle School Photo Credit: Hudson-on-Hasting School District

Students in the Hastings-on-Hudson school district are learning a lot more than reading, writing and math after a swastika was found in one of its schools on Wednesday.

The Nazi symbol, etched on a piece of paper in an art room at the Farragut Complex of the middle-high school building, was discovered by students.

Once a teacher was notified, district officials contacted police, and sent an email to parents explaining the situation, said Tony Sinanis, the district's new superintendent.

A second incident reported on Thursday by students turned out not to be a swastika, but pencil markings on a desk in the art department, he said.

"I'm so proud of the students for being proactive about this issue," he said.

Since the first incident,  teachers, and administrators have been having discussions with students about bias, hate and social justice issues, Sinanis said.

"We don't just teach reading and writing," he said. "We have to prepare the students for life and unfortunately this type of thing is part of life."

He said the way students and staff have reacted to the incident has given him hope about the power of education and for the future.

Police are investigating the incident, but at this point, Sinanis said they have no idea who committed the offense.

"I'm just proud of our students and how seriously they are taking this issue," he added.

The district plans to keep parents informed of any new information related to the investigation.

Officials are also encouraging anyone with information to contact police at 914-478-2344. The case's incident number is HH-003402-17.

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