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Graffiti With Swastikas and Racist Rant Rattles a New York High School

The images were disturbing: Three large red swastikas. A menacing warning that read, “I HATE BLACKS.” And a graphic threat of a school shooting.

The graffiti was found on a boys’ bathroom stall at an elite college preparatory high school in Manhattan last week. On Monday, the authorities said the vandalism was being investigated as a potential hate crime. The Police Department’s antiterrorism unit is also working with the school, and no arrests have been made.

The discovery has unnerved students and teachers at the institution, Beacon High School in Hell’s Kitchen. After the graffiti was found on Thursday, officers swept through the building. Some teenagers stepped out of classes to meet with counselors. Staff members fielded a flurry of worried calls and emails.

The jarring episode is the latest in a series that have rattled New York City high schools in recent months in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. A raucous demonstration at a Queens high schoolorisbet became a major flashpoint in the fall, after officials said a pro-Israel teacher was targeted by students. And this month in Brooklyn, several teachers reported antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents at their high school.

The principal at Beacon, Johnny A. Ventura, said in a series of emails to families that the school was working with the authorities to keep students safe. He called the screed in the bathroom “deplorable and unacceptable.”

“As a Black Latino, my first set of emotions upon hearing and seeing this was anger, and then sadness that someone at our school would choose to write this,” Mr. Ventura wrote. “We embrace diversity and inclusion at Beacon. A threat to one of us is a threat to all of us.”

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