Vandals defaced Stapleton’s Isabella Bird school with a swastika and other offensive graffiti over the weekend of November 18th. The offensive messages appeared on the door and playground of the school. Police and school officials are working to find the perpetrators, but in the meantime the community has responded.
Within hours of discovering the offensive messages, community members turned out to paper the school with heart-shaped messages of support and remove the spray-painted graffiti. By Sunday evening, most of the graffiti was gone and messages of love and encouragement filled the school and social media.
Local Jewish residents and leaders are deeply concerned about this display of anti-Semitism. Liron Caplan’s message to the perpetrator was, “This symbol that you placed on this wall is one of pure hatred and unadulterated pain. It is not cool. It is not the image of defiance, or power, or your power over others. It is not a symbol of angst or your troubles. Just hate.” Rabbi Mendel Popack of the Stapleton Jewish Life Center (SJLC) said, “We condemn this deeply offensive act and stand together with our Stapleton neighbors in opposition to this and all forms of hatred and discrimination. This type of hateful expression has no place in our society, and is not in any way a reflection of our neighborhood or of the Stapleton community.”
In response to this incident, the SJLC and neighbors have organized a parade of solidarity to take place on December 27. The parade will begin at Isabella Bird school, travel through Stapleton, and culminate at the east crescent of the Stapleton Founders Green for the annual community menorah lighting.
To show support for Jewish neighbors, some Stapleton residents are printing and taping menorah posters in the windows of their homes. To download and print a menorah to put in your window, please visit JewishStapleton.com.