A swastika was found carved into the top of a desk at a middle school in Glen Rock, New Jersey on Wednesday, officials said.
The classroom where the Nazi symbol was discovered is used for students from the 6th to 8th grades, but police have not yet determined when the hate symbol was drawn on the desk, NJ Advance Media reported.
NJ Rep. Josh Gottheimer denounced the incident, describing his disgust and concern that this was not the first such occurrence at Glen Rock Middle School.
“As our nation continues to experience a spike in antisemitic attacks and hate, I am disgusted and deeply concerned, once again, to receive updates of a swastika being found at the Glen Rock Middle School,” Gottheimer said in a Thursday statement.
“This symbol of hate cannot and will not be tolerated in North Jersey – especially within our schools which should be teaching that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”
Gottheimer called for increasing Holocaust education to combat antisemitism.
"I have received updates from the Glen Rock Mayor and the Glen Rock Middle School Superintendent on the issue and will continue to be in touch with them to ensure appropriate measures are taken, including a strong focus on Holocaust education," he said. "We must continue to call out antisemitism and all forms of hate and intolerance.”
In September 2021, a similar act of antisemitism occurred at a high school in Glen Rock on the eve of Yom Kippur, when a swastika was similarly found carved into a classroom desk.
That incident, which was denounced by the mayor and city officials, was also called out by Gottheimer, who represents the area.
Calling it “unacceptable,” he said that “students deserve to be able to feel safe at school, not fearful of acts of hate.”