By Shrida Pandey, Online News Editor
// In a nation already divided as Election Day approaches, a vandal spreads hate and fear in Lamorinda.
The unknown perpetrator vandalized homes and structures around the community with spray paintings of swastikas this Monday. On some structures, the swastikas also accompanied words including “Trump” and “ACB”, referring to the recently appointed Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett.
“I think it is really upsetting that whoever did this took a painful symbol of the past and related it to a political party. It is not okay, and the perpetrator should be ashamed,” junior Tessa Chan said.
Shortly after the incident, the four Acalanes Union High School District school site principals released a statement to the parent community denouncing the hate crime.
“We really felt it was essential for us to send a joint message together that just showed our response… and an acknowledgment that this stands against the values of our schools and our community,” Acalanes Principal Travis Bell said to Blueprint.
Although many parents were angry about the incident, they appreciated the administration’s transparency.
“I think it’s a good practice to denounce hate crimes, and it’s a better practice to work with students to understand the origins of hate crimes and how to prevent hate crimes from catching hold in the community,” Acalanes parent Matt Ariker said.
The Acalanes Wellness Center also arranged a Zoom discussion yesterday for students and staff to share and reflect on the incident during lunch.
“The goal here [is] just for people to listen, to show community, [and] show support,” Wellness Coordinator Allen Choi said during the meeting
Many students saw the meeting as a time to heal and listen to others.
“I thought it was a good space for people who were affected to feel understood and cared about,” sophomore Hailey Stripling said.
Even with the quick support from the Acalanes administration, some students believe the anti-Semitic nature of the swastikas is far too common in the community.
“Unfortunately, this is not new. I know that there are many incidents of anti-Semitism on campus and in the community in general,” junior Stella Bobrowsky said.
Others point to the incident as a small piece of a wider problem in Lamorinda.
“I think anti-Semitism is part of Eurocentric culture, which America is based [on]. It shows up in suburbs fairly often because people use it as an excuse for their personal failings, and it’s a quick way to justify hatred,” junior Ella Thompson said.