CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Cambridge school employee found a Nazi-themed flag inside the school district’s storage building.
The storage building is owned and used by Cambridge Central Schools and is located just south of the school’s campus on Route 22. Police don’t believe any school staff placed it there, but whoever did, wanted it to be seen.
Neighbors call it disturbing.
“I am surprised to see it so close to my house,” David Chapleau, of Cambridge, said. “You always think things like this are isolate, not happening near you, so when it’s literally like 50 yards away, it’s kind of shocking that something like that is going on.”
Cambridge Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said a school custodian found the flag Friday morning. It hadn’t been there when crews locked up Thursday night.
But the chief said it could be construed as a hate crime.
The flag, which has a swastika and the number 33 – a Ku Klux Klan reference – had been meticulously placed so someone would see it.
“This isn’t an area that a kid could see it, but still, it’s on school campus,” Bell said. “It has no business being on school campus. I think it has gone above and beyond whoever put it there.”
Neighbors are worried as they don’t know where the flag came from.
“I find it very upsetting,” Rosemary Smith, of Cambridge, said. “I think a lot of it is, you know, maybe copycats.”
Chapleau said it’s nothing worth copying.
“That was a long time ago, the war, but those symbols represent very hateful things in that time, and we can’t forget what that actually represents today,” he said. “Totalitarianism and any type of final solutions are not acceptable.”
Police do not believe any school staff played a role.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police.
Vincent Canini, Superintendent of Schools of the Cambridge School District issued a statement on the district website Wednesday:
As you may already be aware, a flag deemed to represent anti-Semitism and white supremacy was recently discovered on property owned by the school district. It was found by a school maintenance employee the morning of June 15, 2017. Please be advised, it was found between two dumpsters south of the school campus, better known as the former Verizon property. This is not an area accessed by the student body, nor is an area the public is permitted.
The district notified the Cambridge/Greenwich Police Department, who are currently handling the investigation, and the district is in full cooperation. If anyone has any information or concerns, please direct them Cambridge/Greenwich Police Chief George Bell at (518) 677-3044.