Racist, anti-Semitic vandalism found near Florida high school

Swastikas and a KKK reference were painted on a community clubhouse near Orlando's Timber Creek High.

Racist and anti-Semitic language was found near an Orlando high school over the spring break weekend, prompting on-campus security concerns. Parents were made aware of the vandalism via a voice message from Kelly Paduano, the principal of Timber Creek High, on Sunday.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, Paduano said, in part, “Today I was made aware of vandalism on an Avalon community building that contained racist language, antisemitic symbols and a possible threat against our school and administration.”

Racist and anti-Semitic language was found on a building near Timber Creek High (above) in Orlando, Florida over the weekend, prompting security concerns at the school. (Photo: Twitter/Timber Creek High)

“While this happened in the community and not on school property, I want to assure you I take these situations very seriously,” Paduano continued in her voice message. “Law enforcement is investigating, and we are cooperating with them as they work to identify the individuals responsible. Please be assured if this involves any of our students, they will be disciplined according to the code of student conduct up to and including expulsion and possible arrest.”

The graffiti was found painted on a community clubhouse about a mile away from Timber Creek High, but in addition to swastikas and a reference to the KKK, there was also a statement about a school shooting, and both its administrators and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were made aware of this statement.

The campus will be placed under additional security “out of an abundance of caution,” assured Michael Ollendorff, Orange County Public Schools spokesperson.

City officials decried the hateful act. “Bigotry of any form is unacceptable in Orange County or any American community,” said Orange County Commissioner Maribel Gomez Cordero. “I call on our community to reject these ignorant acts of prejudice and join together to keep our communities safe and tolerant. We are a loving and caring community. Orange County is a place of peace, not hate.”

Meanwhile, police in Perrysburg, Ohio, are probing racist vandalism at a high school there. Last week, WTOL reported that graffiti was found Wednesday in a bathroom stall at Perrysburg High School.

Thomas L. Hosler, superintendent of Perrysburg Schools, expressed his disappointment in a letter to families, writing in part, “Perrysburg Schools strives to maintain a diverse and professional environment where all students, families, and employees feel included and are free from harassment and discrimination. Not only does our response to incidents matter, but we feel strongly that our efforts each and every day in maintaining this welcoming environment matter.”

Hosler shared that he was “deeply saddened by what happened” and “discouraged by the actions of one or few. We as a school community work very hard to take steps to ensure ALL students achieve their greatest potential.”

That incident remains under investigation.

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