Police investigating after York U reports swastikas, anti-Semitic statement in classroom

A York University spokesperson said swastika symbols and an anti-Semitic statement were found in a classroom this week.

University said swastika symbols, anti-Semitic statement found on Monday

York University said swastika symbols and an anti-Semitic statement were found in a classroom this week. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Toronto police are investigating after York University reported the discovery of swastika symbols and an anti-Semitic statement in a classroom.

"We stand against all forms of hate, and anti-Semitism is not tolerated on our campuses and does not reflect our value of inclusion," said Samina Sami, executive director of the university's department of community safety, in a statement released on Wednesday.

Sami said the symbols and statement were found in a classroom on Monday morning. York responded immediately "to the report of hate graffiti" and reported it to Toronto police, she said.

"We have been working proactively with Jewish students and other campus groups to support a safe and inclusive campus," Sami added.

"The safety of our students, staff and faculty is taken seriously and we support a community where everyone can learn, work and live safely."

Sami has not yet responded to CBC Toronto's request for clarification on what the anti-Semitic statement said.

Police investigating incident as mischief

Police are now investigating the incident as mischief.

Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu said Toronto police received a call early Monday morning about swastikas that had been drawn inside one of the classrooms "on two walls, in chalk."

The swastikas were "not oriented in the correct position" to be the specific symbol tied to anti-Semitic views, Sidhu said.

Police on scene did not see any additional messages, she said, and will be reviewing security tape from York.

Sidhu noted that an Indian philosophy course is taught in the classroom.

The swastika symbol is rooted in the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist faiths.

The police investigation is ongoing.

With files from Nathan Crocker