The Washington Post

Silver Spring’s Northwood High closes outdoor areas after antisemiti­c acts


Northwood High School’s outdoor facilities will be closed to the community until further notice after the area was targeted by an outside hate group with fliers that contained antisemiti­c language and hate speech, the high school’s administra­tion said Thursday.

The fliers were posted at the same locations on the Silver Spring high school’s athletic fields four times as of Wednesday, Principal Jonathan Garrick wrote in a letter to families. Garrick’s letter did not name the group that’s been reportedly targeting the high school and did not share details of the fliers’ contents.

The community closure begins Saturday and includes the school’s athletic fields, track, tennis courts and all other outdoor areas. The school’s Loxford Terrace gate will also be closed, Garrick said. Events approved by the school district will not be affected.

“We recognize and regret the inconvenie­nce this causes for our surroundin­g community,” Garrick said. “However, the safety of our students, staff, and community must take precedence.”

The high school’s administra­tion is working with the Montgomery County police and school public safety team to identify a suspect. The school hopes to reopen the outdoor facilities once a suspect is apprehende­d or there is confidence the hate vandalism against the community has stopped, Garrick said.

Several Montgomery County schools have reported antisemiti­c vandalism or hate speech recently. In December, Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda reported that a person wrote “Jews not welcome” across the school’s entrance sign. Several schools have discovered swastikas drawn on desks and in bathrooms. In February, Superinten­dent Monifa B.

Mcknight announced students who commit hateful acts will have it documented in their permanent record.

The D.C. suburb has reported an increase in incidents that show bias against a race, religion or other identity, according to data from the county police department. In January, several Kensington residents found antisemiti­c fliers on their front porches. The Anti-defamation League said they believed the fliers were distribute­d by the Goyim Defense League, a loose group of individual­s “connected by their virulent antisemiti­sm,” according to the ADL.

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