Wade Thomas Elementary School in San Anselmo. (Photo/Lea Loeb)
Wade Thomas Elementary School in San Anselmo. (Photo/Lea Loeb)

Swastika found outside elementary school in Marin town of San Anselmo

A swastika was found spray-painted outside an elementary school in San Anselmo Thursday, according to an email to parents from school district officials.

Teachers at Wade Thomas Elementary School arrived on campus early Thursday morning to find the symbol spray-painted on asphalt pavement near a classroom, the email said. Wade Thomas serves just under 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

“We are treating this incident as hate-motivated behavior and will move forward with consequences to the full extent possible if the person/s responsible is/are identified,” Ross Valley School District Superintendent Marci Trahan said in the email to parents.

School staff covered the graffiti immediately and notified law enforcement, Trahan said. When officers finished inspecting the area, school maintenance staff removed the symbol. The incident is under investigation, Trahan said. The Central Marin Police Authority did not respond to a request for comment.

In her letter to parents, Trahan strongly condemned the graffiti as an “act of hatred and discrimination.”

“It is tremendously disheartening to have this happen on one of our campuses and within our RVSD community where we have worked to create acceptance and a strong sense of belonging for all of our students, staff, and families,” Trahan wrote. “Such acts of hate are deeply offensive and an affront to the mission and values of the Ross Valley School District.”

The incident marks the second time in two years that antisemitic graffiti has been reported in San Anselmo, a town of just over 12,000 and home of Chabad of West Marin.

In 2021, a set of numbers signifying white supremacist and pro-Nazi beliefs was found assembled on a scoreboard in the town’s Memorial Park.

Trahan concluded her message to the community with a note to the district’s Jewish families:

“I want to take this moment to reassure our Jewish students, staff, families, and community members that we stand firmly with you and offer our unwavering support.”

Lillian Ilsley-Greene
Lillian Ilsley-Greene

Lillian Ilsley-Greene is a J. Staff Writer. Originally from Vermont, she has a BA in political science and an MA in journalism from Boston University. Follow her on Twitter at @lilsleygreene.