COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A drawing of a swastika was discovered on the wall of a Cobb County elementary school bathroom last week.
Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell was at Mt. Bethel Elementary on Monday, where she spoke to the senior Rabbi of a synagogue nearby. Dan Dorsch, the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim said he talked to the school’s principal about how to handle the situation.
“A number of congregants reached out to me, they had lots of questions, they were concerned,” Dorsch said. “There’s Just so much hate out there. We never want to create a situation where a child sees something inadvertently and learns from it and then it gets carried into school.”
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Dorsch said a lot of the focus of his conversations with the principal as well as members of the school board are around empathy.
“Yes, we teach the curriculum in a vacuum, but how do we make it to where the kids really understand this is a matter of concern?” Dorsch said. “It is disheartening, but rather than focusing on the disheartening aspect of this particular swastika, East Cobb is a wonderful place to raise Jewish families.”
The district send Channel 2 Action News a statement saying that the anti-Semitic imager was removed as soon as it was discovered and school officials started to investigate where it came from immediately.
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“We continue to encourage parents to speak to their children about behaving appropriately, treating each other kindly and respecting our school building and property,” officials said in a statement.
The student who drew the image was disciplined, but the district said it can’t give specific details about the student due to privacy laws.
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Channel 2 Action News has covered numerous stories of hate popping up on flyers in people’s yards and hateful images spray-painted on buildings.
In March, a bill to add antisemitism to Georgia’s hate crime laws failed. The bill passed in the state House just weeks after someone left anti-Jewish flyers in a representative’s neighborhood. The bill defined antisemitic crimes as hate crimes.
Opponents said the bill limited speech criticizing Israel. Sponsors said they would introduce the legislation again in next year’s General Assembly.
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