Hateful graffiti discovered at Pascack Hills

Swastikas, racial slur found Friday afternoon


Josh DeLuca

Multiple swastikas and a racial slur were found etched into patron walls in a boys bathroom at Pascack Hills. The bathroom was immediately closed and the Montvale Police Department was contacted.

Rachel Cohen and Josh DeLuca

Several swastikas and a racial slur were found etched into parition walls of a boys bathroom in Pascack Hills on Friday, Nov. 30. Since then, the bathroom has been shut down, the graffiti was removed, and the Montvale Police Department has conducted an investigation. 

The recent discoveries at PH come in the wake of several incidents of hateful defacement at Pascack Valley in Hillsdale. The anti-Semitic incidents at PV were discovered on Sept. 27, Oct. 18, and Nov. 6.

Pascack Valley Regional High School District Superintendent Erik Gundersen informed the PH community of the incident in an email sent Monday, Dec. 3. A faculty meeting was also held Monday morning to discuss the measures needed to be taken to report anti-Semitic drawings or racial slurs.

“A person who marks anything with swastikas or racial slurs is not demonstrating freedom of speech — they are committing both hate and bias crimes,” Gundersen said in the email. “These symbols and slurs are extremely offensive and have absolutely no place in our school or in society.”

Throughout the school day, PH administrators visited English classrooms to address the student body regarding the incident.

As had been done at PV, PH has also implemented an anonymous tip form for students who wish to report information relevant to the investigation.

In the email, Gundersen suggests for parents and guardians to contact the school’s Wellness Center, speak to religious leaders from the Pascack Valley Clergy Council, and read resources from the Anti-Defamation League to start a conversation about anti-Semitism and respect.

Safety, security, and respect for all are our top priorities for the district community,” Gundersen said. “Let’s all join together to demonstrate the power of love, acceptance, and respect as a community. ”