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Another swastika found in Mt. Lebanon schools on day of remembrance for synagogue shooting victims

MT. LEBANON, Pa. — Mt. Lebanon School officials said they found a swastika made from masking tape on the back of a dry erase board at Jefferson Middle School on Wednesday.

The anti-Semitic symbol was found on the same day memorial events were underway across the Pittsburgh area to remember the 11 people killed at the Tree of Life synagogue three years ago.

>>>RELATED: Swastika symbols found at two Mt. Lebanon schools, parents sending strong message of concern

This marks the fourth time in the past year a swastika was found in a district school, and the third time one was found at the middle school.

A letter was posted to the district’s website about the incident on Wednesday:

“October 27, 2021

Dear Mt. Lebanon School Community,

I am disappointed to inform you that a swastika made from masking tape was found on the back of a dry erase board at Jefferson Middle School today. There is no place for this type of behavior in our school and community.

With great care and guidance from our community rabbis, we inform you as we commemorate the lives lost three years ago at the Tree of Life / Or L’simcha Congregation in 2018. Today is a poignant day for the Pittsburgh Jewish community and human beings of all faiths. We continue to grieve with families who lost loved ones, and we recognize the feelings of safety and inclusion that were shattered for so many in our community.

We take incidents like this very seriously. The school administration and Mt. Lebanon Police Department are thoroughly investigating this action. Additionally, JMS Principal Dr. Sarah Shaw has scheduled several educational activities that will take place this week and is working with our local rabbis to determine other educational responses.

Our ongoing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion is an integral part of the work to educate all students on the full meaning of this hateful symbol, and all that it represents, to prevent future incidents. As always, we will act swiftly to address any issues that violate our policies and practices of nondiscrimination. There is no tolerance for discriminatory behavior in our schools, and we will take appropriate disciplinary action for those found responsible for this incident.

In the Mt. Lebanon School District, we are all committed to fostering a culture of acceptance and understanding in our schools and work every day to cultivate a place where everyone is treated with kindness, respect, and dignity.


Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools”