Stephen Ellison

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found on High School Campus

Principal at Carlmont High in Belmont says two incidents of hateful words and drawings were written in chalk

A couple of anti-Semitic drawings recently discovered at a Peninsula high school has students and the Jewish community on edge.

School officials said at least two incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti were found at Carlmont High School in Belmont within the past two weeks. Principal Ralph Crame said graffiti and hate words had been written in chalk on school property and have since been removed. He said it's not what the school stands for, and it's absolutely not tolerated.

"I think it's horrible that students would think that it was OK to have any type of vandalism or graffiti, especially anything that was demeaning towards another group, another student," Crame said.

Crame said one of the drawings contained a swastika.

The students responsible have been identified and disciplined according to district policy, Crame said, but he couldn't provide details.

"They had some education involved in the consequences, and we also sent the message out that it is against our school respect policy," he said.

The principal sent emails to and even met with several parents, who have expressed concern.

"It's definitely worrisome," parent Ryan Flores said. "It's just not right; got to teach them right."

Seth Brysk of the Anti-Defamation League, said the incidents are just two of many that have occurred recently at Bay Area schools.

"When somebody is targeted like this, it not only affects the person who was the specific target; it also has an impact across the entire community," Brysk said.

He said it's part of a broader trend of an uptick of anti-Semitic incidents across the community and across the country, and added that it's important to turn these incidents into a lesson.

"Hate is something that has to be learned. Nobody is born hating," Brysk said. "So if you have to learn how to hate, you can also learn how to unhate. You can also unlearn that hatred."

Crame said students have been warned that if something like this happens again, it could be considered harassment, bullying or even a hate crime.

"The message I would like to get out is that is not what Carlmont is all about," Crame said. "Our student body is an accepting community."

Belmont police said they have opened an investigation into the incidents to see if any crimes were committed.

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