Updated at 3:25 p.m.:
It was discovered today, Jan. 27, that Newmarket's Sacred Heart Catholic High School at 908 Lemar Rd. was also defaced with hate-motivated graffiti that included messages and images at the school, a York Catholic District School Board spokesperson confirmed.
“For me, personally, I’m shocked and horrified by such images and it goes against everything we stand for as a Catholic school board,” said York Catholic board spokesperson Mariann Gordon. “We have the values of equity, inclusion, and respect for people as a human being and all our diversity. And anything like this is always shocking and disappointing.”
All York Catholic schools have surveillance cameras and the board is working closely with York Regional Police and cooperating with the investigation, Gordon said, and will make any video available to them.
A Newmarket school community turned up this morning to anti-Semitic and anti-Black messages and images sprayed along almost the entire side of one wall at St. Paul Catholic Elementary School.
York Regional Police were called to the 140 William Roe Blvd. school just before 7 a.m. on Jan. 27 for a report of graffiti on the outside wall of the building.
“The investigation revealed the graffiti contained anti-Black and anti-Semitic messages and images, and our specially trained hate crime investigators are overseeing the investigation,” Sgt. Andy Pattenden said.
A mobile spray wash company was working this afternoon to scrub the graffiti off the building.
There have been unconfirmed reports of at least two other graffiti incidents today in York Region, the nature of which is not yet known. More details will be provided as they become available.
“This one, in particular, is our immediate concern because it was hate-motivated graffiti,” Pattenden said.
York Regional Police does not tolerate hate crime in any form. Those who victimize individuals based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or mental or physical disability will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
York police appeal to witnesses and anyone who has information, dashcam or video surveillance footage in that area to come forward and call Newmarket’s #1 District criminal investigations bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7141. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.