Schoolkids Clean Up Antisemitic and Racist Graffiti at Ontario Playground
June 8, 2022
Police in London, Ontario, have opened an investigation after antisemitic and racist graffiti — including swastikas — was scrawled on playground equipment by unidentified vandals at Stephens Farm Park, CBC News reported.
The graffiti was found by a group of young students from Adventures in the Woods, an independent day school, on Tuesday.
London Police Chief Steve Williams said, “We are disheartened to learn of this reprehensible incident, particularly given the symbolism behind the hateful images and words depicted, and the fact it involved children’s playground equipment.”
“We would like to thank members of the community who brought this to our attention,” he added. “The London Police Service condemns all acts of hatred and violence toward any individuals or groups in our community.”
The graffiti was cleaned up by the Adventures in the Woods students, using spray bottles and wipes.
“We had spent all morning in the woods and then we decided to go to the park, and as soon as we got there, the kids gasped and asked, ‘What happened to the park?'” early childhood educator Alyssa Watson recalled. “We had a little talk about how sometimes, there are words that people use that are very harmful to different groups and the kids came up with the idea of cleaning it up.”
In 2021, a total of 2,799 antisemitic incidents were reported in Canada, setting a record high for a sixth consecutive year, according to data compiled by B’nai Brith Canada.