Student finds swastika on wall in bathroom of Lexington high school

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - School officials are looking into an incident at Henry Clay High School involving a swastika drawn on a bathroom wall.

Zach Sippy, a student at the school, reported finding the swastika on the wall on Monday. Sippy says he notified the school principal about the offensive symbol on Monday evening.

Sippy, who is Jewish, says he's often sent personal text messages and messages via social media that poke fun at or attack his religion. But Sippy says he's not sure his peers understand the level of hate and hurt that these images portray. He hopes by speaking publicly he will get that message across.

“I think most of this isn’t malice. I think a lot of this is, ‘oh it’s funny. It’s a joke. I can just draw this image' and it’s not. It’s far more dangerous than that," Sippy said. "Images have power. We have to recognize the power of our actions and of our words. That was what was so dangerous and distressing to me.”

Sippy is also asking Superintendent Manny Caulk to create a district-wide task force that would be dedicated to fighting hate crimes.

Superintendent Caulk released a statement saying:

"We have zero tolerance for acts of hatred in our schools and absolutely support having a courageous conversation to look at this issue systemically. At its very first meeting, my Superintendent’s Student Voice Team identified issues of racism, discrimination and bias as one of the top two issues they want to take leadership in addressing both in our district and community-at-large. Hate is a learned behavior and our students are taking the lead on moving our entire community forward. Zach is a member of our Superintendent's Student Voice Team, which had its regularly scheduled meeting this morning, and he shared this incident with me personally. We discussed strategies on how to address and engage the community in a broader conversation. I stand in complete agreement with him that we should seize this as a teachable moment for our school community and the community-at-large and I'm proud of our Superintendent's Student Voice Team for starting this work even before this incident. We are stronger together and we will not let hate divide us."