NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nerves were rattled in a community in Queens on Saturday after anti-Semitic and hateful graffiti was found scrawled across a school playground.
Dozens of swastikas and other anti-Semitic messages were drawn in chalk outside PS 139 in Rego Park. They were spotted by a school custodian Friday afternoon.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
Local leaders took to social media to condemn the hateful drawings, which have since been washed away.
So far this year, 36 anti-Semitic crimes have been reported in the city compared to 21 at this time last year.
In an interview with WNYC on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the overall increase in hate crimes is unacceptable.READ MORE: Gabby Petito's Father Announces Creation Of Gabby Petito Foundation Ahead Of Public Memorial Service
“There’s no question there is a huge uptick in real hate crime of all types,” de Blasio said. “In this city we’ve seen it in a horrible manner, particularly lately anti-Semitic hate crimes.”
Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-48th) is hoping to help prevent that kind of hate with education, and says he’s trying to pass a law that would require the discussion of hate crimes in schools.
“We as a city need to do more,” he said. “We can’t just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk.”MORE NEWS: Gov. Kathy Hochul Increases Pressure On COVID Vaccine Holdouts As Deadline For Health Care Workers Approaches
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the Rego Park incident.