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Antisemitic graffiti and threats found written in Toronto school bathroom

Toronto Police Service logo patch is shown in Toronto, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. Spencer Colby / The Canadian Press

A Toronto school is investigating after antisemitic, threatening graffiti was discovered on the wall of a bathroom inside the school.

In a letter to parents on Thursday, the principal of Dublin Heights Elementary and Middle School, said there was no reason to believe any threats were credible but precautions were taken nonetheless.

The school is located just south of the Sheppard Avenue West and Bathurst Street intersection.

The principal said Toronto police were “immediately” called. The messages were photographed to inform an investigation before they were removed.

Images viewed by Global News included pencil drawings on a wall that appeared to show the Star of David — a well-recognized symbol of Jewish identity — crossed out and a drawing of the Israeli flag with an ‘X’ through it.

The photos also showed offensive handwritten words with antisemitic messages.

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The letter to parents added, “I want to assure you that the safety and security of our students, staff and school will always be our primary concern.”

Global News contacted Toronto police for comment.

In November, Toronto police said there had been a “staggering” increase in reported antisemitism and Islamophobia since the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Fighting in the Middle East has continued since an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel that left more than 1,000 civilians dead, according to Israeli officials.

The response to that attack, which has included ground and air attacks on the Gaza Strip, has left more than 17,000 dead, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Authority.

When he gave his update last month, Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw said there have been 38 reports of antisemitic hate crimes and 17 anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab hate crime reports since Oct. 7.

Speaking at a Toronto Police Services Board meeting, Demkiw said the city is experiencing a period of high tensions.

— with files from The Canadian Press and a file from Reuters

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