BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mother has been left outraged after her son spotted swastikas on board his school bus in Boca Raton.
That mother said her sixth-grade son, who was on his way to school, found the vandalism on the bus seat that said “Hail Trump and Hitler” with two swastikas near it, Friday morning.
“It’s not OK,” said the mother who did not want to be identified. “The hate is being bred and being fed.”
When her son saw the message, he immediately texted his mom. “He was shocked. That’s why he sent me that text, just saying, ‘Look at this,'” she said. “I can’t believe it.”
According to the student, the message was written in either white paint or white out. It appears that there was an attempt to wash it off, though.
Other parents were also upset about this incident.
“Pretty disgusting,” said one parent.
Bonnie Dektor said hearing about something like this is terrible. “I am of the Jewish religion myself, and so when I see things like that, that’s completely unbelievable,” she said.
The child’s mother said she contacted the Palm Beach School District and the boy’s school, Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, about the incident. “They got back to me immediately and said they were going to handle it,” she said.
“I just think it’s a shame in society that we have to really be dealing with such hatred,” said Chris Schlageter, “and exposed at such a young age.”
The Boca Raton mother said she believes the events in Charlottesville could have fueled this. “I feel like with what’s taken place recently, that’s why there’s absolutely no room for hatred like this,” she said, “especially coming from children because then that means that it’s coming from home.”
Schlageter said parents have to be held accountable for what they teach their children. “As parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure that balance is provided and that hatred is not instilled to grow and to become a problem later on in life,” he said.
“I feel like we need to use it as a teachable moment to start dialogue and conversation in the school and at home,” said the sixth-grader’s mom, “to let everyone know that our generation is not escaping this.”
Palm Beach County Schools released a statement that reads in part, “Any expression or action by students that attempts to disrespect, discredit or harm anyone on our campuses or buses will not be tolerated. Once we find the person or people responsible, they could face criminal charges, as well as serious punishment as outlined in the student code of conduct.”
School police have already been made aware of this incident and are investigating.
Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.