Antisemitic graffiti found on Hardy Middle School property

 Courtesy Eric Langenbacher
Washington, DC - An unknown perpetrator has repeatedly defaced the property of Hardy Middle School in Burleith with hateful graffiti, triggering a police investigation for a suspected hate crime and widespread community outcry. 

The graffiti was discovered on the 34th Street side of the school property, and on one occasion in front of the Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue. The graffiti first appeared May 17, followed by more messages May 20 and May 23, according to Eric Langenbacher, the president of the Burleith Citizens Association and a government professor at Georgetown University. The messages are filled with antisemitic tropes, references to Freemasonry and nonsensical phrases. All the graffiti has been written in chalk. 

The bizarre content of the messages has led law enforcement to suspect the perpetrator may be dealing with issues of mental illness, Langenbacher said. Langenbacher was the first person to report the bigoted writings and has personally removed them. He has also met with investigators from the Metropolitan Police Department about the incidents. 

“It’s pretty clear that it’s the same individual responsible because the handwritings are the same; some of the images that have been put up there are the same. It’s always kind of in the same spots,” Langenbacher said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “A lot of individuals, including the police, are of the opinion that there probably is a mental health issue involved as well. Some of the graffiti has just been weird.”

Bigoted messages on school property are frightening and are the antithesis of what the Hardy community represents, according to Martin Welles, a parent at the school and vice president of the Parent-Teacher Organization. 

Source: The Hoya