By Nona Tepper
A swastika was found scratched on the back of a bathroom stall at Trinity High School on Nov. 13, the fifth such expression of hate that has occurred in Oak Park and River Forest in recent weeks.
In a statement, Trinity President Corinne Lally Benedetto said the Nazi symbol has been removed.
"Any expression of hate or intolerance is absolutely unacceptable in our Trinity community," she said.
River Forest Police Chief James O'Shea said the police department is prepared to investigate the incident, as well as bring in outside county, state or federal partners to assist.
"At this time, the school wanted to investigate this matter internally, and use it as an educational moment for their institution to teach students about the very offensive symbol, and the intolerance and hatred it represents," O'Shea wrote in an email.
This is the fifth incident of hate speech that has occurred in River Forest and Oak Park recently.
On Nov. 9, a student at Oak Park and River Forest High School used Apple's AirDrop feature to send out the image of a swastika to the iPhones of other students while in an assembly.
The 14-year-old allegedly responsible for sending the offensive message has been charged with distributing an anti-Semitic image and appeared in court on Nov. 14, according to Oak Park police.
The week before, officials discovered racist and anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on bathroom stalls and on a shed near the high school's tennis courts. Police and District 200 official are currently investigating this incident.
OPRF District 200 officials are also dealing with the fallout from an incident involving a teacher accused of saying the n--- word in class last month. Students and parents have complained that the teacher was only given short administrative leave.
In late September, Charles R. Duax, 41, of the 300 block of South Maple Avenue in Oak Park, also threatened members of the West Suburban Temple Har Zion.
River Forest police charged Duax with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
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