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Day after anti-Semitism forum, Bedford hit again

The day after more than 300 people attended a community forum to denounce recent incidents of anti-Semitism in the schools, a swastika was discovered at Bedford High School.

Superintendent Jon Sills said the swastika, found Friday, was written in pencil on a wall tile near the teachers’ room. Sills said the Police Department was called, pictures were taken. and the swastika was erased.

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Sills said the schools notified the rabbis at the two local synagogues that serve Bedford and sent an e-mail to parents.

The swastika was the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents at the high school and the district’s two elementary schools. One of the incidents at the elementary schools involved students engaged in conversations about a game they called, “Jail the Jews.’’ In the fall, swastikas and hateful graffiti were found at the high school and one of the elementary schools.

Sills said police are investigating the latest incident but it may not qualify as a hate crime because it was not permanent vandalism or aimed at a person.

Sills said he was meeting with Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and a representative of the Middlesex district attorney’s office Monday afternoon to discuss the incidents and determine which are criminal.

“It is disheartening that, so soon after such a positive and uplifting gathering of Bedford residents last Thursday night, this shameful behavior has continued,’’ Bongiorno said.

“We have consulted with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and are working with her office to investigate this latest incident. I want to assure the residents of our town, and our students, that we are going to use all of our resources to determine the identity of the person or persons responsible for posting these hateful messages. This behavior will not be tolerated in Bedford.”

Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can
be reached at jflefferts@
yahoo.com.
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