Police: vandalism at temple and school likely connected

Heather Graf reports

BOTHELL, Wash. -- Police say the vandals that hit a Hindu temple over the weekend didn't stop there: a nearby school is the latest target of their hate-filled graffiti.

The spray-painted swastikas were found at Skyview Junior High School on Sunday. The school sits less than a half mile from the Hindu Temple Cultural Center that was also vandalized on Sunday. Bothell Police confirmed they are now working with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office on the case and believe the two incidents are connected.

The Northshore School District released a statement responding to the vandalism:

"We are deeply disturbed by the vandalism at Skyview Junior High School. Here in Northshore School District, we take great pride in fostering a safe, nurturing learning environment that values and honors diversity and inclusivity. These offensive messages do not reflect the values or culture of our school district or greater Bothell community. District crews are working quickly to remove the vandalism, and the Bothell Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Bothell Police at 425.486.1254."

At the temple, people were equally upset to hear about the vandalism at the school.

"It shows their ignorance. It shows they're fearful of the unknown, but have no idea what it is they're attacking," said Samantha Bright.

Nit Niranjan, the Hindu Temple Cultural Center Chair, said they were focusing on coming together in the aftermath of this act of hate.

Hundreds showed up on Monday night to celebrate The Great Night of Shiva.

"Who did it? Why he did it? That's his problem," said Niranjan. "This is why we pray. We're not here to punish him"

The school district had security guards patrolling the Skyview campus on Monday night. Students and staff at the school are currently on winter break.


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