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Swastika found painted at Kent State University: What officials are saying

'The recent appearance of this symbol of hate is a reminder of the work ahead of us during perilous times.'

KENT, Ohio — Police at Kent State University are investigating “the recent appearance of a swastika” that was painted on campus.

“We are not sure exactly when it was painted, but in the aftermath of the massacre in Buffalo, New York, its appearance serves as a reminder of the threat of extremism and the need for all of us to denounce the growing wave of racism, intolerance and violence in our nation,” KSU said in a statement posted to its site. “Kent State is committed to creating a community of kindness and respect, and the recent appearance of this symbol of hate is a reminder of the work ahead of us during perilous times.”

“It’s very perilous, it’s meant to make us worry about what it might portend and it’s something to be taken very seriously,” said Kent State associate history professor Richard Steigmann-Gall.

The Anti-Defamation League did a study in 2021 that showed 43% of Jewish college students in the United States have experienced Anti-Semitism on college campuses.

“Think about that, that’s almost half of Jewish students across this nation either they themselves experienced Anti-Semitism or they knew somebody who experienced Anti-Semitism,” said Anti-Defamation League regional director James Pasch.

In response to the swastika's appearance, Hillel at Kent State University released the following statement:

Hillel at Kent State University is deeply shocked and concerned to learn of a hateful and antisemitic act of vandalism that occurred earlier this week on the grounds of Kent State University. We condemn this and all acts of antisemitism on campus and in our communities.

The perpetrator of this act painted an image of a swastika, an antisemitic symbol that represents the Nazi regime that murdered over 6 million Jews and millions of others. The symbol has since been embraced by other hate groups in an attempt to intimidate and traumatize the Jewish community. With the rising wave of extremism in our communities, we cannot ignore this act of antisemitism and denounce hate of all forms in the strongest possible terms.

Jewish students, parents and friends are encouraged to reach out to our staff if they need a listening ear or have questions. We are in communication with our partners at Kent State University, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Hillel International, ADL Cleveland, and Kent State Police to combat this hate and stand up for our Jewish community and friends.

“It is yet another string and a long string of Anti-Semitic incidents across Ohio,” adds Pasch.

News of the situation at Kent State comes one day after reports surfaced that a Lake Catholic High School lacrosse player appeared to have a swastika drawn on his leg during a game against Orange High School.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland issued the following statement in response to the news:

Administrators at Lake Catholic High School have been made aware of the very serious allegations of anti-Semitism involving a player on the school’s varsity lacrosse team as well as a Lake Catholic fan during the game against Orange High School yesterday evening. The behaviors alleged are reprehensible and contrary to the Gospel values that Lake Catholic works so hard to promote.

Lake Catholic is currently conducting an investigation into the matter in order to gather all the facts. Once the investigation is completed, appropriate action will be taken to address the matter.

Lake Catholic and the Diocese of Cleveland condemn anti-Semitism in any form and extends its sincere apologies to the Orange High School community for the hurt they are experiencing as a result of what has been reported.

RELATED: Lake Catholic High School lacrosse player accused of painting swastika on leg during game against Orange

You can watch our report on the Lake Catholic story below:

RELATED: Northeast Ohio groups fighting hate, racism share reactions to Buffalo shootings

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