Boys visiting the restroom at the Kent Denver School in Cherry Creek Village this week were greeted by an alarming, hateful message: a swastika scratched into one of the stalls.
“This is a senseless, hateful act that has no place at Kent Denver,” Jan Thomas, spokesperson for the school, wrote in a statement provided to The Denver Post. “As Head of School Rand Harrington informed faculty, parents and students: Hate speech, hate imagery and hate-fueled behavior will not be tolerated at Kent Denver. Period.”
The school has reported the incident to Cherry Hills Village Police Department, Thomas said in the statement, and is fully cooperating with the investigation.
It’s the second recent incident of anti-Semitic graffiti to cause alarm at a metro area high school. Last week, the superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools sent home a letter to parents after hateful graffiti was found in a bathroom at Eaglecrest High School.
The Denver Post received a tip about the Kent school graffiti through its partnership with ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project.
Cherry Hills Police declined to give details about the incident. Spokeswoman Nathalie Klasens said Thursday they “just received this report” and that it’s still an “ongoing investigation.”
Kent Denver is a tony private school on 200 acres of land in Englewood, serving grades sixth through 12th. Alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
School counselors and the student services team have been made available to “support students, families, faculty and staff who are traumatized by these incidents,” Thomas said.
The school is encouraging any member of the community who has knowledge of these incidents to report that information directly to the Cherry Hills Village Police Department or anonymously at Safe2Tell.org.
The swastika in Kent Denver School comes as Colorado has seen an increase in activity by white supremacists and other extremists this year, a trend experts say is something that cannot be ignored.
Just this week, a full-size Nazi flag defiantly flew outside a home in Fruita.
Outside Breckenridge last month, residents found spray-painted swastikas and the letters “SS” on political signs.
And in August, a large swastika was painted on a sidewalk in Colorado Springs.
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