Swastikas were painted on signs, walls and sidewalks. Police also found some on an electrical box.
Most of the graffiti was washed off or painted over before the students arrived for the school day, according to the principal.
"This type of behavior is not reflective of our culture at Cherokee Elementary School, where we accept all children," Principal Walter Chantler said in a letter to parents. (Read the full letter below.)
"This is the first of this type of hate crime that we've seen in Paradise Valley in many, many years," said Officer Kevin Albert with the Paradise Valley Police Department. "We're not sure if it's just a bunch of kids being kids, but regardless, it's still a no-no, it's still a hate crime, it's still trying to incite fear amongst our residents and we don't like that, we don't appreciate it."
The Anti-Defamation League is aware of this situation and has been in contact with police to offer its support and services to help solve this crime.
Police do not have any suspects at this time. Detectives are investigating the incident.
Principal's letter to parents:
Cherokee Elementary School Parents and Guardians,
Vandalism - in the form of offensive graffiti - was discovered this morning on school property and in the surrounding neighborhood. The damage on campus was cleaned up by the time most students arrived for the school day. The Paradise Valley Police Department is investigating these incidents, and we are cooperating fully.
This type of behavior is not reflective of our culture at Cherokee Elementary School, where we accept all children.
As always, student safety is our number one priority.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 480.484.8700 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walter Chantler Principal Cherokee Elementary School
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