Westwood school working with synagogue after finding swastika

Westwood school working with synagogue after finding swastika

WESTWOOD, Mass. — A swastika was found scrawled inside a classroom at Westwood High School and the principal has reached out to the local synagogue for help.

“It was a small symbol about the size of a half dollar found on a bulletin board in one of our English classrooms,” said Dr. John Antonucci, superintendent of the Westwood Schools System.

Antonucci says it's not the kind of behavior he'd expect from this community, and in his 12 years as superintendent, he has never had an incident like this happen.

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“We really consider it an attack on our core values,” he said.

The high school principal immediately emailed parents and also reached out to a local synagogue just down the street to get them involved in the discussion.

“Westwood's a small community so we really feel close with all our neighbors and we want all students especially to feel very comfortable in school and in the town,” said Rabbi Karen Citrin of Temple Beth David.

Rabbi Karen Citrin said that Westwood High students who belong to the temple were upset when they learned about the swastika.

“We've spoken with some of them and I know they really want to work with the school as well to help spread that message of positive relations,” she said.

Rabbi Citrin has offered to visit the school and educate students about what the swastika symbolizes for Jewish people and other minorities who were persecuted during the Holocaust.

“Any incident like this is a teachable moment - and we haven't done anything formal with our student body yet it's something we're considering and we're hoping it was a one-time incident and we never have to talk about it again,” said Antonucci.

The investigation into who drew the swastika remains open.