STAMFORD, Conn. — The Stamford community is expressing its outrage after one of the city's high schools was defaced with hateful graffiti — including swastikas, “KKK,” profanity and the number 666 — over the weekend.
The vandalism involving spray-painted graffiti at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering is under investigation by police, Stamford Mayor David Martin said Monday.
“Hate and racism have no place in Stamford," Martin said. "And events like the one this weekend are not reflective of who we are as a city. We are one of the most diverse communities in the state, and we celebrate and embrace that diversity."
The police department is investigating to identify the responsible individuals.
"It is unfortunate that some people feel emboldened to spread hate in this divisive time in our country," Martin said. "So it is even more important now that we come together as a city and condemn actions like these in the strongest terms. We cannot, and will not, tolerate actions like these in Stamford.”
The Stamford Public Schools also expressed its concern about the vandalism at the magnet high school, which draws students from throughout western Fairfield County.
"As a district, we were greatly disturbed and saddened by the vandalism and symbols of hate that were discovered on one of our school properties over the weekend, as well as other locations in town," a statement said.
"SPS condemns all forms of hate speech and discrimination. We have always been, and will continue to be, a caring, responsible district committed to welcoming and supporting all families. We want to assure our community members that the district is working with local authorities to identify the vandals."
A statement from the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien and its Jewish Community Relations Council said its members were "deeply disturbed" by the incident.
"We cannot and will not tolerate hate in our community. We call on all faith leaders to come together to speak out against hate. These hateful and disturbing acts are not just a Jewish problem but one affecting all minorities," the statement said.
"UJF is working with police and the Anti-Defamation League to address these manifestations of hate. We have been reassured by the police department that full attention will be given to this matter."
A 58-year-old homeless man was charged with drawing a swastika in feces on the Rich Forum, next to the entrance of the TV studio where "The Jerry Springer Show," "Maury," and "The Steve Wilkos Show" are taped.
Robin Spearman was charged with a hate crime and breach of peace in the vandalism in downtown Stamford.
Anyone with information about the incident at AITE is asked to contact the Stamford Police Property Crimes Unit at 203-977-5828.
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