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Anti-Semitic graffiti found in middle school bathroom in Arlington

A group of students in Arlington were caught on Friday after drawing anti-Semitic graffiti in a bathroom at Ottoson Middle School, schools officials said.

The Arlington Public School district said it would not release information about the students or what punishments they may face.

“We want to stress that middle school students make mistakes. Our obligation is to help them learn from this incident,” Superintendent Kathleen Bodie and Ottoson Middle School Principal Brian Meringer said in a statement.

The school leaders said they are handling the case with an eye toward preventing future incidents: “It is not uncommon for middle school students to copycat actions that warrant a response in order to get attention.”

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The school system notified parents, police, and the Arlington Human Rights Commission Friday. On Monday, administrators at Ottoson Middle School talked to students about the incident and the ramifications of hate speech, the statement said.

“We look toward moving forward from this incident through teaching, tolerance, and understanding,” Bodie and Meringer said.


Maria Lovato can be reached at maria.lovato@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.