Police in Newport Beach, California, are investigating swastika stickers on a locker at Corona del Mar High School as a hate crime, according to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.
The school district found out about the act of vandalism last week and reported it to the Police. “This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our schools,” said a district representative, Annette Franco.
“We are investigating and meeting with the Jewish Federation of Orange County to determine next steps to help our school community become better citizens. Immediate actions are being taken while long-term plan put forward,” he added.
A Newport Beach Police spokesman said his detectives are investigating.
This incident comes less than two weeks after the start of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, in a school district with a history of incidents linked to anti-Semitism. In 2019, Police were notified after a group of high school students drank alcohol at a house party and took a photo performing a Nazi salute around a table decorated with red plastic cups in the shape of a swastika.
Reports of hate incidents have grown over the years in Orange County, growing from 41 in 2021 to 103 in 2022, according to a county report.
The founder of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism in the state of California in San Bernardino, Brian Levin, said that there has been an increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents since the beginning of the war, although the data is very preliminary.
Levin confirmed that there were seven anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Los Angeles between October 6 and 16 this year, compared to three during the same period in 2022.