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September 02, 2016

Swastikas found spray painted in Swarthmore library bathroom

College president says perpetrator will be punished

Anti-Semitism Colleges
Swarthmore Matt Rourke/AP Photo File

Students walk outside Parrish Hall at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa., Sept. 17, 2007.

Two swastikas were found spray-painted in the bathroom stall of a library Tuesday night at Swarthmore College, according to the school.

The college released a statement Friday that had previously been sent to students and faculty, promising punishment for anyone responsible.

"This incident is serious and unacceptable, and the perpetrator(s) will face serious disciplinary consequences," President Valerie Smith said.

School workers began removing the Nazi symbols on Wednesday, the school said, although it is unclear if they had been completely removed as of Friday. A call to the school was not immediately returned.

"This imagery, indeed any imagery or speech that seeks to threaten individuals or communities based on their religion, sexual orientation, race, disability status, gender, nationality, political views or any other characteristic has no place on our campus and will not be tolerated," Smith said.

An op-ed in response to the incident was published Thursday in the school's student newspaper, The Daily Gazette.

The piece, written by Swarthmore student William Meyer and titled "A Response to Yesterday’s Anti-Semitic Hate Crime from a 'Whiny Brat Jew,'” has been shared many times on social media and garnered plenty of supportive comments.

In the piece, Meyer writes that the discovery of the symbols is hardly surprising.

"Drawing swastikas, the symbol of Nazi Germany, has long been a method of intimidating and spreading terror amongst those groups targeted by the Nazis, particularly Jews," Meyer wrote.

"Yet, the growing global and national tide of anti-Semitism made this all too predictable," he said.

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