Offensive and antisemitic graffiti has been found at two Mountain View elementary schools in recent weeks, Mountain View Whisman School District administrators report.
On Wednesday, Nov. 10, officials at Bubb Elementary School found graffiti that included a swastika, as well as the words "Go Nazis" and "We love Hitler," on the poles attached to the school's solar panels, according to an email Principal Cyndee Nguyen sent to parents.
A couple weeks prior, graffiti that included a drawing of Pepe the Frog was found in a city-owned bathroom on the field at Monta Loma Elementary School, Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph said.
The graffiti at Monta Loma was left sometime between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1 and also included a spray-painted swastika and the word "Jew," Mountain View Police Department spokesperson Katie Nelson said in an email.
Pepe the Frog is an internet meme that the Anti-Defamation League has designated as a hate symbol, while noting that most uses of Pepe aren't bigoted and that context is important in determining whether a particular case is racist or antisemitic.
Rudolph said that the district is working with the Mountain View Police Department to identify the perpetrators of the recent graffiti.
"Mountain View Whisman is an inclusive environment that welcomes every single student and every family type to our district," Rudolph said. "We condemn any forms of hate or violence towards any students."
This is not the first time in recent years that local schools have been hit with offensive graffiti. Since the start of the pandemic, Rudolph said that Graham Middle School and Amy Imai Elementary School, previously called Huff Elementary School, have been targeted.
"Over the last year and a half, we have seen an uptick," Rudolph said.
In her message to parents, Principal Nguyen said there is no evidence that the graffiti is connected to a recent bomb and shooting threat that Bubb received.
The school district is currently in the process of finalizing plans to install security cameras on school campuses next summer using funds from its 2020 Measure T bond. The cameras are meant to help deter "destructive activities" from taking place at schools and to aid in identifying perpetrators, Chief Business Officer Rebecca Westover said at a Board of Trustees meeting last month.
The district's board is also set to vote at a Thursday, Nov. 18, meeting on a resolution affirming its "commitment to fighting hate" and stating that the district will observe this week as "United Against Hate Week." According to the agenda for the meeting, the resolution comes in response to "bias-motivated vandalism on our campuses and acts of hate in the broader community."