Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew said a staff member at Nichols Middle School reported finding “antisemitic and racist graffiti” in two bathrooms at the school on Thursday, June 2, in an update provided to the RoundTable by the Evanston Police Department.

The staff member reportedly discovered multiple swastikas drawn in marker in the third floor boys bathroom at Nichols, while “there was racist language directed at individual(s) of mixed ethnicity” written in marker in the second floor girls bathroom at the school, according to an email from Glew received Friday, June 3.

The employee who informed District 65 and EPD of the offensive imagery and messages believed the people who committed the act did so sometime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, Glew said in the email.

“The incident is being investigated by the Evanston Police Department Detective Bureau,” Glew said. “No one is in custody but the investigation seeks to identify participants and determine appropriate action based on the facts revealed by the investigation.”

Thursday’s incident occurred almost three weeks after parents and teachers found three nooses hanging in a tree between Kingsley Elementary School and Haven Middle School on May 13. At the time, District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton reported that “Haven students were seen allegedly chanting and carrying ropes to the location where the nooses were found.”

EPD believes that the swastikas and racist messages at Nichols are unrelated to the nooses hung outside Kingsley and Haven, according to Glew.

After 21 days, though, Glew said there was still “nothing new on the Haven case” to report. Since Horton’s email announcing the discovery of the nooses, District 65 and EPD have yet to provide any public update on the case or any additional information related to the police investigation.

“Completing a thorough investigation into these incidents remains dependent on District 65’s continued cooperation,” Glew said.

The RoundTable filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the police incident report regarding the nooses, but the city denied the request in its entirety on the grounds that the records involved juveniles.

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...

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  1. If the city’s stalling over releasing details about the noose case goes on much longer, it’s going to begin to look as if they’re hiding something, much as they attempted to cover up the lifeguard scandal.