Swastika Reported at DHS Restroom This Weekend

This image is from a 2015 incident at a Jewish fraternity in Davis

The school district put out a notice on Tuesday that there were “disturbing events that have occurred within our school community over the last few days.”  The district reported that a swastika and an anti-Semitic slogan were found drawn on a restroom wall at Davis Senior High School.

In addition, “Someone sent a swastika digitally to Davis Senior High in three separate anonymous messages through the reporting application called STOPit. Separate anonymous STOPit messages with the same swastika symbol were also sent to Harper Junior High School. All STOPit messages were sent within a two-minute period.”

The district believes that it was all related, although the messaging was done anonymously so there is no way to know for sure..

The district reports, “The graffiti was removed immediately from the high school campus and all incidents were reported to the Davis Police Department for investigation. At this time, it is unknown if the events are related.”

Lt. Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police confirmed to the Vanguard that, around 10 am on Monday, officers responded to Davis High School for a report of a hate incident. Over the weekend, an unknown suspect drew a swastika on the wall of the boys’ bathroom near the library. The words written were: “Sieg Heil.”

Lt. Doroshov declined a Vanguard request for an image of the graffiti, citing an ongoing investigation.

Lt. Doroshov confirmed that the school has also received, over the weekend, swastika email images via an application called “STOPit.”

The district sent out a notice indicating, “We encourage anyone with information to contact our school office or Davis Police Department.  I want to also take this opportunity to underscore that such actions are taken seriously and run counter to DJUSD policies and principles of inclusion and may be considered hate crimes by law.”

The district added, “In our school community there is no room for intolerance. I ask for your support in helping to reinforce this message.

“Our counseling department is available to speak with any student or staff member who may need support,” the message indicated.

Maria Clayton, the district’s public information officer, did note that she thought student exposure to this would be relatively limited, as much of the message came in through anonymous apps.

The Davis Police Department is investigating this matter as a hate incident.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Serene Erby

    Hate crimes are rising in the Sac/Davis area and it’s very disturbing.  More education needs to be done about prejudice and stereotypes and encourage dialogue about our commonalities, not our differences.  Educators are very important in this regard.  They need to being in someone to talk about the Holocaust to talk to the students.

    Because WE ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE!!!!!  Our differences are skin deep!  Skin color, nationality, religion, these things only separate us if we allow them to.   We are in reality, all one people.  Science confirms this.  Baha’u’llah, Prophet/Founder of the Baha’i Faith exposed it 170 years ago!

    WE ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE.  Embrace our differences, don’t be afraid of them.  Bahai.org

      1. David Greenwald

        It is considered a hate incident.

        A hate crime is a criminal act against a person or his/her property because of that person’s real or perceived race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Under California law, for a crime to be considered a hate crime, a number of specific criteria must all be met as defined in the California Code. Federal law differs in certain respects from state law. In California, for a crime to be considered a “hate crime” and for the penalty enhancement provisions of the law to take effect, a prosecutor must prove that the motivation of the perpetrator in committing the crime was bias against a person or persons in a protected category, and that this bias was a “substantial factor” (and not an incidental factor) in the crime. Hate incidents are considerably more common on college campuses than hate crimes. Unlike hate crimes, there is no formal legal definition for a hate incident. They are generally the same types of behaviors and crimes as described above except that one or more of the formal legal criteria described above are not met. Regardless, the victims tend to experience the same range of emotions and benefit from the same level of caring response.

        1. Howard P

          Am not disagreeing, but it brings up an interesting thought…

          It (graffiti) was discovered over the weekend.  No reports of a student (other than the one(s) doing it) seeing it.  Supposedly (Bee account) it was removed before classes on Monday… other than the school being a victim of vandalism, unless the person(s) who discovered it, or removed it, were members of a “protected class”, who are the “victims” of the ‘hate incident’, related to the graffitti?

          Looking ahead, if the ‘culprit(s)’ are found, hope that they are subject to mandatory community service, and the culprit and/or their parents, have to pay full restitution to the District for the costs of removal, and any hours spent by staff to deal with it (including DPD staff).

          Would rather not have them suspended/expelled, but rather mandatory counselling (plus the public service hours and the financial restitution) on their own time.  Assuming of course it was a student(s)…

        2. David Greenwald

          Howard: District has really moved away from suspension as a matter of course and I think the PD, DA, and District are looking more and more towards restorative justice processes as the way forward on almost all of these.

  2. Alan Miller

    I find it interesting that “The Vanguard” chose to run an article about this incident, yet did not run an article about the Celebration of Abraham interfaith walk, also over the weekend, which featured the Imam speaking to the large interfaith group and a fairly large protest of the Imam along Russel Blvd.

    1. David Greenwald

      I was out of town and no one sent me an article on the Celebration of Abraham, whereas I received a letter on the Swaastika from the district and a statement from the police. Sometimes reporting is the art of the possible.

  3. Alan Miller

    It is considered a hate incident.

    Considered and IS are two different things.  If the incident is a hate crime, there could be a threat to a group of people.  If it’s an attention-seeking dumb-a**, talking about it encourages the behavior by publicizing it.

    On the other hand, the Imam’s words are NOT considered a hate crime, yet many Jews and others consider his words a threat to a group of people.

    What matters to me is whether a group of people are brought into harm’s way by the perp if the perp is a threat or if the perps words create a greater threat.

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