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Swastika found at Danvers High School days after another racial incident among sports teams

School officials and Danvers police are investigating several disturbing episodes.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

In the latest act of antisemitism in Danvers, a swastika was found drawn in a high school bathroom, principal Adam Federico disclosed in a letter to the school community Wednesday.

Federico, who has been welcomed by proponents of a more inclusive culture at Danvers High School, said he was “deeply saddened and frustrated” by the offensive graffiti. He commended a student who reported finding the Nazi symbol on the wall of a stall in a third-floor bathroom.

School officials and Danvers police are investigating the incident, after opening several other inquiries in recent weeks involving disturbing episodes. On two different days, officials at the Holten Richmond Middle School reported finding swastikas on a bathroom wall.


On Tuesday, Federico suspended the high school wrestling team after a team member allegedly used racist language, triggering a fight with another student, and school officials discovered a team group Snapchat with “references to hazing and hateful and biased language.”

Those incidents follow a Globe report that exposed alleged violent, racist, homophobic, and antisemitic misconduct by members of the Danvers High School 2019-20 boys’ varsity hockey team.

Danvers leaders are still facing a backlash over their efforts to conceal the alleged hockey team misconduct from the public for more than 16 months.

In his letter Wednesday to the community about the swastika graffiti, Federico stated, “At this time, we do not know who did this or why.”

He wrote, “We condemn this hate crime and want to be clear that this type of hateful and discriminatory behavior has no place at Danvers High School. We will be meeting with students throughout the next few days to engage in work around biased and hateful language, dangers of social media and the importance of reporting concerning information. Additional support will be made available to students this week on an as needed basis.”


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Bob Hohler can be reached at robert.hohler@globe.com.