SAN DIEGO – Just days after the conflict in Israel began, a hate symbol was found drawn in a Carmel Valley school bathroom. Police did confirm the graffiti Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s a way to install fear inside the Jewish community. It’s a hate symbol, and this is not acceptable,” shared Fabienne Perlov, who is the Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego. “We are horrified and condemning this hate symbol in the most serious terms.”
It’s a triggering sight for Perlov who works directly with local schools throughout the county to fight hate crime and extremism targeted toward the Jewish community; something Perlov says is on the rise.
“Since January, antisemitic incidents reported to ADL have increased by 45%,” Perlov said.
This crime comes as unrest, protests and demonstrations spark globally and here at home, between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups as the death toll continues to mount.
The principal of Torrey Pines High School, Robert Coppo, released this statement to parents that was shared with FOX 5 Wednesday:
“We will follow up with the full power of our authority. I want to be very clear – we do not tolerate antisemitism, hate crimes, or hate speech of any kind. I have provided resources to all staff so that we can address this with students, and educate everyone on hate symbols, and their impact on our school community. Please be a part of this conversation by talking to your student about this critical, but difficult topic…” the statement says in part.
“They promptly responded to this incident. They have coordinated with the San Diego Police Department and are working as we speak in conjunction with our law enforcement to ensure the security and safety of our Jewish students on campus,” Perlov said.
FOX 5 also reached out to San Diego police who addressed the crime in a statement.
“SDPD stands united with our communities against hate. This morning, staff at Torrey Pines High School reported a [hate symbol] was painted inside one of the restrooms on campus. Officers responded to the scene and are investigating this vandalism as a hate crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact SDPD or Crime Stoppers.”
San Diego PD also say they are upping Juvenile patrol to prevent another horrifying and triggering crime like the one students may have encountered Wednesday.
Right now, Torrey Pines High School admin is requesting people to report suspicious or illegal activities in the school environment through an anonymous tip line known as We Tip Hotline, (800)78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or by going to the WeTip website to file an online report. The statement says tips may earn up to a $1,000 reward.