Swastika among graffiti found at Mesa Middle School, officials say

clambert@thetribunenews.comApril 4, 2011 

UPDATE 4:28 p.m. Lucia Mar school district Superintendent Jim Hogeboom released a statement this afternoon condemning the vandalism at Mesa Middle School.

“As the leader of an educational system, I find it abhorrent that this kind of activity would take place on one of our school campuses,” he wrote. “Student and staff safety is of the upmost importance to the district, and we are currently looking into additional safety and security measures for Mesa Middle School.”

Rob Bryn, the sheriff’s department spokesman, said detectives are investigating the incident as a hate crime because of the language used.

Original story: Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a hate crime at Mesa Middle School in which graffiti targeting racial and ethnic groups, including a swastika, was written on a whiteboard, according to department spokesman Rob Bryn.

Bryn said detectives believe that those responsible attend or have attended the middle school on Halcyon Road in Arroyo Grande.

The incident happened between Sunday night and Monday morning, in which someone entered at least four classrooms and caused minor damage, including a broken window.

At least three California state flags were also taken from a few classrooms, Bryn said, torn from their poles. He asked that any parents or others who see these flags to call School Resource Officer Dale Andersen at 473-7107.

Detectives have also determined that the incident is not related to the cross burning in Arroyo Grande on March 18. Arroyo Grande police are investigating that incident as an arson and hate crime.

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