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Antisemitic, anti-Black graffiti found on Peterborough Catholic elementary school

Peterborough police are investigating after antisemitic and anti-Black graffiti was discovered on a Catholic elementary school in the city on Monday morning. Global News Peterborough file

Police in Peterborough, Ont., are investigating after antisemitic and anti-Black graffiti was discovered on a Catholic school in the city on Monday morning.

According to the Peterborough Police Service, investigators believe that sometime between Saturday and Sunday the graffiti was painted on St. Paul’s Catholic Elementary School on Hilliard Street.

“The incident has been classified as a hate/bias crime,” police said Monday.

The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board says a custodian discovered the graffiti in several locations on the exterior of the school prior to the beginning of the school day.

In a letter to family and guardians, principal Natalie Bittner said school staff were able to cover the messages before students arrived. The board’s facility service will work to remove the graffiti “as soon as possible.”

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“As a school community dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive, and loving learning environment, we are shocked and saddened that this has occurred,” stated Bittner. “We take this opportunity to fully condemn racism, antisemitism, discrimination and hate in all its forms.

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“Displays of hate such as this show how much work still needs to be done to educate our broader school communities about racism and discrimination as we put our commitment to equity into action,” she said.

This year, in May and during the weekend of June 17-18 police investigated several incidents of antisemitic pamphlets being distributed in various neighbourhoods around the city.

A report by Statistics Canada last March listed the Peterborough area with the highest rates of police-reported hate crime among census metropolitan areas (CMA) in 2020.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Peterborough Police at 705-876-1122 ext. 555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.stopcrimehere.ca.

Click to play video: 'Hate crime reports in Canada surged during COVID-19 pandemic: StatCan'
Hate crime reports in Canada surged during COVID-19 pandemic: StatCan

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