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More swastikas found at Milton middle school

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Milton school officials have pledged a thorough investigation after swastika graffiti was found at Pierce Middle School for the second time since December, according to letters sent to the school community.

The Nazi symbol was found late Wednesday in bathrooms used by sixth and eighth grade boys, Pierce principal Karen L. Spaulding wrote. The incident was reported to Milton police, Spaulding said.

"We are providing full cooperation and assistance to them," Spaulding wrote.

Superintendent Mary C. Gormley also pledged full cooperation with police.

"We take these incidents extremely seriously and will work closely with the Milton Police Department and any other additional resources to ensure that we have taken every appropriate action to deter further occurrences of this type," Gormley wrote.

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Milton police and school officials could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

The incident follows one reported on Dec. 22, when swastikas were also found in school bathrooms. In that case, the students responsible were identified, and disciplined in accordance with the school's conduct code, school officials said at the time.

Spaulding called discovery of the latest graffiti "far, far beyond disappointing."

"The Pierce Middle School is no place for hate," she wrote. "I pledge to you continued vigilance in this matter as well as continued efforts long term to promote and support a positive, hate-free school environment."

After the December incident, the Pierce took several steps to educate students and improve the school culture. They included holding assemblies for each grade, choosing a team of students to attend a conference this month sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, and new training for teachers and administrators this summer, Spaulding wrote.

In light of those efforts, Spaulding reiterated " . . . this behavior will not be tolerated at the Pierce Middle School."

She also wrote that school leaders will address harm done to the Pierce community and to "restore a sense of safety and support for all."

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Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.