Authorities Investigating Swastikas Drawn on Andover High Desk as a Hate Crime

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Andover authorities are investigating the drawing of three swastikas on a high school desk as a hate crime, police said Tuesday.

The anti-Semitic symbols were discovered just hours before the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. It is the third time a swastika has been found at Andover High.

“We must respond to the situation that presents itself to us, and we cannot ignore hatred and intolerance because they are uncomfortable topics of conversation. We must educate ourselves and our children,” Andover Superintendent Sheldon Berman said. “We seek to find those responsible for these acts, but we also know that we must educate our entire community if we hope to prevent these acts from reoccurring.”

Given that the latest incident took place in the classroom of a Jewish teacher, it has been classified as a hate crime.

The town has responded swiftly to this latest hateful attack.

Andover Public Schools are partnering with the New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League to train faculty members and are scheduling a community forum with civic and religious leaders to take place early next year.

“Crime prevention happens in the community and we are dedicated to preventing these terrible acts from happening again,” police Chief Patrick Keefe said.

Anyone with knowledge of the incidents is asked to call Andover High School at 978-247-5500 or the Andover Police Department at 978-475-0411.