MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Montgomery County Public Schools said it was looking into an antisemitic incident at one of its high schools.
The principal of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda sent a letter to the school community letting it know that two students found a swastika carved into the surface of wooden stool in a science lab.
In December 2022, there was antisemitic graffiti on the school’s sign. It became one in a series of anti-Jewish incidents in Montgomery County that took place over the course of months.
The letter from Dr. Robert W. Dodd said that the school administration contacted the Montgomery County Department of Police after the students found the swastika.
Dodd mentioned that an increase in similar incidents was not unique to the high school, citing an audit released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on March 23, the same day students found the symbol. The audit showed that there was a 98% increase in antisemitic incidents in Maryland in 2022.
Dodd wrote: “We are committed to ensuring that all students, including Jewish students, are safe, valued, and can thrive in our school.”
The principal said Walt Whitman High School would be holding student town hall meetings by grade level on April 12 in order to review the Montgomery County Public Schools Student Code of Conduct and share the school system’s new protocols for addressing specific incidents of hate/bias and discrimination. Dodd added that in May, the school would partner with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to give students an opportunity to hear from children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. He said the school would partner with JCRC and ADL in August to provide staff members with training on the experience of Jewish students in schools and antisemitism and its appearances in schools.