NEW: Swastika found drawn in boys’ bathroom at Boca middle school


Parents of Omni Middle School students were notified Thursday after a swastika was found drawn on a boys’ bathroom stall.

Principal Gerald Riopelle sent out a robocall to parents explaining that the school’s staff had not found those responsible for scrawling the hate symbol. Riopelle said that school custodians immediately removed the graffiti.

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A shot of the drawing posted by a parent on her Facebook page shows a crudely drawn swastika with the words, “Heil Hitler” written in between two smaller swastikas.

“Any expression or action by students that attempts to disrespect, discredit or harm anyone else on our campus will not be tolerated,” Riopelle said on the call.

Riopelle urges parents and teachers who have information regarding “this act of vandalism and harassment” to contact him.

But some parents were unhappy that it took Riopelle a week before they were notified about the graffiti. Mandy Neuman said Riopelle reacted only after she posted a photo of the markings on her Facebook page.

“I was disappointed with the delayed response, investigation and general lack of concern of the heinous act,” Neuman said. “As parents, we would appreciate to know what is going on in our children’s school. Let this be a teaching moment for us as parents to discuss anti Semitism and bigotry.”

Riopelle could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Florida chapter of the Anti-Defamation League wrote on its Twitter account Thursday that the organization “stands ready to work with (Omni Middle) and offer any needed resources … ”

About 1,400 students attend Omni Middle, on Jog Road north of Yamato Road.

The incident is the second involving a swastika in Boca Raton. The symbol was found Sunday spray-painted on a black Ford Mustang parked on San Salvador Drive in a largely Jewish neighborhood north of Palmetto Park Road and just east of Florida’s Turnpike.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said the car was spray-painted sometime between 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.



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