L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Hate crime charges sought against students in anti-Semitic vandalism at Calabasas High

Nazi Swastikas and anti-Semitic verbiage spray painted on Calabasas High School walls.

Sheriff's officials said Thursday that they believe anti-Semitic and racist graffiti allegedly scrawled by three students at Calabasas High School amounts to a hate crime.

Capt. Joe Stephens of the Malibu-Lost Hills station said that based on  evidence gathered in the case, they are asking the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for a felony vandalism filing with a hate crime enhancement.

The three suspects were arrested and booked Wednesday before being released to their parents. The cost of the cleaning up the graffiti is estimated at more than $6,000.

On Wednesday, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement strongly condemning the incident

“The defacement of a school with racial insults, swastikas and references to the Holocaust is deeply distressing,” said Amanda Susskind, Pacific Southwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. “The fact that this vandalism occurred during the Jewish holiday of Passover makes this incident even more disturbing.  The swastika remains one of the most powerful and enduring emblems of religious and ethnic hatred.”

RELATED:

Students confess to racial, anti-Semitic vandalism at Calabasas High School

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo credit: KTLA News

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

so, shooting two kids in gardena while on probation is a simple mistake

three kids spraying paint deserve a felony record

obviously we know that in most of LA, graffiti is accepted as part of life.

the PC crowd keeps going and going

These kids should be prosecuted and put in JAIL. They DESTROYED school property($6000). They thought it was OK to spray paint SWASTICAS? Looks like their parents taught them this hate. I listen to the radio shows and all I hear is this HATE. 24/7 on tv and radio, bashing blacks ,mexicans, muslims. FOX "NEWS" is the King of HATE !!!!!

Wait, what? Bobby, you are saying they don't deserve a felony record for THIS? This isn't just spraying paint, it is pure hate; and regardless of how racism, it is a symbol of genocide, it's not just like a random slip of a racial slur.

These kids should fight this so called "hate crime", freedom of speech is what we are founded on as a country. The kid who fired a gun like the other poster said is the one who should be givin a felony not these kids who just vandalized a school like 50% of the kids at my school did growing up, big deal. Make them pay the fine back. Enough said.

hate=fear. we hate what we don't know, we fear what we don't know or understand. hate=ignorance. a true human being will seek out to educate himself, stand by himself as a true man, an individual and free-thinker. Please don imitate those that seek to manipulate you with your own fears. The worst thing anyone can do is live a life of fear, ignorance and hate. That is a wasted life.

Good.

Every crime is a 'hate crime.' It's ridiculous this differentiation still exists in our laws.

They shouldn't process this as a hate crime. What the kids did was horrible and offensive but they should be given chance to grow from their mistake. Making this a hate crime will only destroy their lives and quench the desire for revenge amongst the offended. We were all kids once and did stupid things.

Saying that they are "just kids" and that they should "grow from their mistake" is naive. They are 16 years old. They should know better. They should DO better. What they did is a hate crime. Period. It's not new. It's not a surprise. It is the law as we have it now. If people feel that it is unfair, campaign to have the law changed. Saying that we should not enforce it is the lazy mans response.

I work at a Jewish institution. I've encountered acts of vandalism like this before. It was also perpetrated by high school students. The only difference is that they were never caught so they were never charged. Their behavior only escalated. The random acts of vandalism and use of hate speech when we had confronted them eventually stopped, but not because it was reported to the authorities or because they learned the error of their ways. They graduated. They moved away. They were never held accountable for their actions and so never changed.

These students need to be held accountable for what they did.

It's a predictable scenario: racist, anti-Semitic, and/or homophobic grafitti is found at a school. The cops, the teachers, the politicians, etc., publicly declare their digust and outrage. Then the police make an arrest; it's almost always a student from the school. Then, when the teachers, police, and politicians learn that is someone from their own community (what? The Man from Mars didn't do it?), their disgust and outrage turns into sympathy for the perpetrator. Police retract statements that the vandalism was a hate crime (and if they don't do this, then the DA's office will by not prosecuting it as such). Schools barely punish. Politicians keep quiet. People stupidly blame the person's youth and/or alcohol/drug intoxication, instead of seeing that hatred is hatred, and that very, very few young people commit hate crimes (thankfully, most young people don't commit crimes at all). Calls for compassion for the perps occur. Legal punishments often don't include hate crime convictions. And thus the cycle of hatred continues.

Stopping anti-Semitism, stopping Islamophobia, stopping transphobia, stopping racism in all its forms, is much, much more important to society than allowing a young person get away with a slap on the wrist for committing a hate crime. To those who say the perpeptrator's life is ruined if they are given a harsh sentence, I say: (a) so what? stopping hatred in society is more important than one individual; and (b) the perpetrator will have many second chances in life. Thank goodness in this case the local ADL is putting pressure on those in power to uphold the laws on the books and file approrpiate charges.

What about the parents?? Where were they when their punk-kids were defacing school property, hmm? To charge them for the cleanup absolutely goes without saying, but criminal charges should definitely be pursued: Contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Call me BD's solution to stop all his politically correct "phobias" is to open up the prisons and toss people into jail for the crime of having the wrong views. You know what is much more important? Exposing dangerous fanatics who hate this nation's freedoms. Those who give their full support to other fanatics who would take those freedoms away from us. Not surprising that you would praise the ADL.

Boy the parents of these privileged and pampered thugs must be proud. I bet the only thing they are really worried about is the possibility that their little darlings may not qualify for ivy league schools now. Yep, Calabasas is raising the cream of the crop aren't they.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: