Montclair High School. PHOTO BY ADAM ANIK

BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
winters@montclairlocal.news

Two swastikas and an anti-Semitic phrase were found carved into a plastic seat at Montclair High School, said Principal Anthony Grosso.

A teacher assigned to the Large-Group Instruction area in the main building found the chair Monday, March 2, and reported it to administration, who then called police. 

“The seat was removed from use in the area to remove the graffiti. It is unknown when the carving was created and for how long it has been present on the seat,” Grosso wrote in a letter to parents.

The March 2 incident is the third act of hate using swastikas that Montclair High School has encountered during the 2019-20 school year. 

In December, swastikas were discovered on two desks in a classroom in the high school’s main building. And in November, a swastika and the word “cake” were found written in pencil on a table in the high school cafeteria.

“This display has no place within our four walls and community. This will not be tolerated. I am troubled by events such as this, as this is an example of ignorance and calls for a stronger need for education within our school and the community. I have been partnering with the local Montclair Clergy and participated in the sharing of my and our concern as a whole. I look to continue our partnership and explore more ways in involving our community as a call for acceptance and inclusion. We are Montclair and the fabric of our community is built upon diversity and our strength to recognize and build from it,” Grosso said. 

School officials are asking parents to speak to children, stressing the importance of Montclair’s diversity. 

Montclair High School will be working with the Montclair High School Jewish Student Union and the MHS Holocaust Partnership to bring to students an awareness of the negative impact of anti-Semetic incidents, said Grosso. 

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