An investigation is underway after a swastika was found in the locker room at a Lawrence rink this week.
Police said a local school principal contacted them after someone used a hockey puck to draw a swastika on a shower screen at the Lawrence Valley Forum.
Peggy Shukur, interim regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England, responded to the incident.
“This swastika is a symbol of hatred that is a hideous and horrifying reminder of this to people of the Jewish faith, but also to many other groups that were targeted by the Nazis,” she said.
This discovery comes as incidents of anti-Semitism rise.
The latest data from the Anti-Defamation League found that from 2020 to 2021, incidents increased 34 percent statewide, 42 percent in New England and 48 percent in Massachusetts.
The swastika incident was reported to North Andover High School administration Tuesday after its hockey team used the facility. The school district superintendent said he contacted the North Andover Police Department. The Lawrence Police Department was also notified as the incident occurred in Lawrence.
After investigation, authorities said they determined no crime had been committed.
“These hate incidents don’t reach the level of crime, but they are so powerful and so damaging to the members of the entire community who are being targeted,” Shukur said.
The principal of North Andover High School and the school district superintendent said in a letter to families that the school district is “committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory school environment, including school-sponsored events.”
“Words and symbols of intolerance and hate are wrong, unacceptable and should have no place in our society,” wrote Principal Chet Jackson and Superintendent Gregg Gilligan.
The school administration was engaged in an investigation into the incident on Wednesday. They will ultimately decide on any kind of discipline.
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