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Swastikas, racist names shown during school assembly

An elite private school in Washington, D.C. said it’s investigating an incident where swastikas and racist names were displayed during an assembly.

According to a letter obtained by USA TODAY, sent to parents of Sidwell Friends students Wednesday, students in the institution’s Upper School — which covers ninth through twelfth grades — gathered during an assembly to learn more about an organization founded by a student.

At the end of the program, students participated in an online learning game called Kahoot, where they can answer questions in real time with their phones.

Answers projected onto a large screen in a meeting room included usernames “racist toward Asians and Native Americans,” said the letter. Also projected were two usernames with swastikas.

“We are deeply disheartened and disturbed by this incident, which is an extremely serious breach of our School’s honor code and harassment,” wrote Bryan Garman, head of school at Sidwell Friends, in the letter. 

Once the names were recognized, the projector was immediately turned off, said the letter.

Garman apologized for the incident, saying in the letter the school is investigating which students were responsible. “Racism and anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in this community,” he wrote.”

The prestigious Quaker school opened in 1883, and has served as the school for several presidential children, including most recently Malia and Sasha Obama, daughters of former president Barack Obama.

Earlier this week, a school district in California condemned images appearing on social media of students at a party posing near a swastika made with red plastic cups. Some students in the picture were performing a Nazi salute.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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