UPDATE: A recent rash of hate symbols that have confounded officials and angered parents have spread from Pascack Valley High School to Pascack Hills.
ORIGINAL STORY: As calls for healing intensified, more symbols of hate were found at Pascack Valley High School -- for what is now the third time in less than two months, officials said.
Students said homophobic and racial slurs were drawn on plaques honoring former high school players on one of the baseball field's dugouts.
"It is unfortunate that we are once again facing a situation where one or more of our students here feel that they have the right to deface and vandalize our school with symbols of hate," Pascack Valley Schools Supt. P. Erik Gundersen wrote Tuesday morning. "We are at a time in this country and community where we should be coming together not hurting one another."
The schools chief urged students interested in helping unify the district to attend Thursday morning's Student Council meeting (7:20 a.m. in the lecture hall).
"We will be discussing ways to respond and actions we can take to make a stand against these actions," Gunderson said. "You do not have to be a student council rep to attend. If you plan on attending, I ask that you email me just so I know how many additional people are attending in case we need to relocate to the auditorium to accommodate everyone."
ALSO SEE: Ridgewood High School became the latest target of hate symbols when someone carved a swastika next to a Star of David in a girls' bathroom stall, authorities said.
Gunderson expressed disappointment that "we have students among us [who] just don't understand or care enough about their fellow students and feel it is OK to hurt others with these cowardly acts.
"I appreciate everyone doing their part in standing up to these hateful acts and look forward to our healing process to begin."
Hillsdale police were in the process of investigating two swastikas found in separate high school boys’ bathroom stalls when three more were found the morning of Election Day last week.
District officials were working with police to identify those responsible while “instituting additional programs to help us address what has unfortunately gone beyond isolated incidents,” Gunderson said at the time.
ALSO SEE: Although some suspect the work of ignorant delinquents, the discovery of swastikas for the second time in six weeks at Pascack Valley High School comes at a time that most say makes it particularly troubling.
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