Anti-asylum seeker ‘hate graffiti’ at NI primary school slammed

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The graffiti – depicting an anti-immigration and anti-asylum seeker message – was discovered just outside the gates at King’s Park Primary School in Newtownabbey before children were due to arrive at the school.

The PSNI said they are treating the incident as a hate crime.

The school Board of Governors said those at the school had been made aware of the message left on the footpath outside the school boundary and in no way reflected the ethos of the school

“We are extremely saddened and disappointed to see this act of vandalism outside the grounds of our school,” the Board of Governors said.

“Our school is a safe, friendly environment where everyone is welcomed, supported and encouraged to be the best they can be.

“This act of vandalism is at total odds with who we are as a school and as a community and with what we teach our children.”

The school said the graffiti was quickly removed.

“We are engaging with all appropriate agencies to ensure this matter is resolved and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council have now dealt with the graffiti,” the Board of Governors added.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Rosie Kinnear, Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, slammed those responsible for painting what she called “racist hate graffiti” at the Newtownabbey school, adding that children should be allowed to feel safe in school.

Cllr Kinnear said: “I condemn unreservedly those responsible for painting racist graffiti at King’s Park Primary School in Newtownabbey.

“This is outrageous, racism has no place in our society, and it beggars belief that anyone would target primary school children and staff in this way. Schools should be safe places for children.

“These actions are wrong and unacceptable to the people of this area and wider society and they need to stop.

“I call on anyone with information on those responsible to bring it forward to the police.”

Police are now appealing for information following a report of criminal damage in the King’s Drive area of Newtownabbey.

“It was reported shortly after 6am that graffiti had been discovered on a tarmac area outside one of the entrances to a primary school. This is being treated as a racially-motivated hate crime at this stage,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to call 101 quoting reference number 162 24/05/24.

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