The discovery of a swastika at a suburban Pittsburgh middle school occurred on the same day that memorial events across the city commemorating the third anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting were taking place.
The Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania school district and local police said they had launched an investigation into the swastika made out of masking tape that was discovered on the back of a dry erase board at Jefferson Middle School on Wednesday.
Superintendent Timothy Steinhauer said in a statement that they were treating the timing of the discovery of the hate symbol as a coincidence, and that there was no evidence that the incident was directly related to the 2018 mass shooting at the synagogue, in which 11 congregants were killed by a gunman who opened fire during Shabbat services.
“We take incidents like this very seriously. The school administration and Mt. Lebanon Police Department are thoroughly investigating this action,” Steinhauer said.
According to KDKA, this is the fourth time a swastika has been found in the school district this year, with two of those incidents also occurring at Jefferson Middle School.
In a letter on the district website Steinhauer said: "There is no place for this type of behavior in our school and community.”
He added: "There is no tolerance for discriminatory behavior in our schools, and we will take appropriate disciplinary action for those found responsible for this incident."
According to CBS Pittsburgh, Jefferson Principal Sarah Shaw has organized anti-Semitism education lessons for students and has asked local rabbis for help in determining other appropriate learning initiatives.