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3 students admit to swastikas at Calabasas High

Investigators said three students admitted Tuesday to being responsible for anti-Semitic graffiti found at Calabasas High.
April 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators said they identified three students believed to be responsible for the swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti found at Calabasas High School last week.

The students all attend the school and were detained by deputies Tuesday. Investigators said they made a confession and were then released to their parents.

The school was covered over the weekend by hateful messages including a series of swastikas.

"I'm Jewish and it hurt me to see it. I was scared to come yesterday," said sophomore Elron Caspi, who said one of his friends was individually targeted.

"One of my friends, his name was written down there. It was tagged, and I was really scared for him," Caspi said.

All of the swastikas were sandblasted out, but the fresh marks still remain. For students, the covered graffiti is not making the hurt or the questions go away.

School principal C.J. Foss said it's possible the culprits are students or former students, because they seemed to know their way around the campus.

"We feel like they are trying to strike fear in us and make us feel uncomfortable at school, but we're not going to let them intimidate us," said Kyle Su, the student body president.

Administrators called the incident a teachable moment, and they got help from the sheriff's department, which brought their Share Tolerance mobile theater to the school.

"Can you teach awareness? Certainly. With awareness, tolerance will follow. Our goal with this program is to get students to think about the repercussions of what they do," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Dave Jennings.

Las Virgenes Unified School District Superintendent Donald Zimring said the repercussions for those responsible will be harsh.

Investigators said they will present their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office shortly.


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