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A 12-year-old Seminole County student found three swastikas and the phrase "why are the ovens getting hotter?" scrawled on her bus seat nearly two weeks ago.Stella Cohen, who is Jewish, snapped a photo of the defaced seat and the next day reported...

After swastika found on Seminole school bus, mom wants incident discussed

A 12-year-old Seminole County student found three swastikas and the phrase "why are the ovens getting hotter?" scrawled on her bus seat nearly two weeks ago.Stella Cohen, who is Jewish, snapped a photo of the defaced seat and the next day reported...

After swastika found on Seminole school bus, mom wants incident discussed

A 12-year-old Seminole County student found three swastikas and the phrase "why are the ovens getting hotter?" scrawled on her bus seat nearly two weeks ago.

Stella Cohen, who is Jewish, snapped a photo of the defaced seat and the next day reported the incident to a dean at Rock Lake Middle School, where she's a sixth grader.

Her mother, Tracey Kagan, said school administrators took the incident seriously. They told her that they used video from a bus camera to identify the child who'd drawn the graffiti and that the student had been punished.

But Kagan said given the rash of recent ant-Semitic incidents reported nationwide, including bomb threats at the Jewish Community Center in Maitland, she wishes the school would discuss the what happened with the entire student body.

"Let the kids know this will not be tolerated. It’s a form of bullying," Kagan said.

In her view, the election of Donald Trump as president has made some people feel free to express hatred. "As a Jew my antennas are up. The JCC, the cemeteries ... People feel more emboldened to say what they feel."

Lawmakers want Florida students to take their standardized tests at the end of the school year, instead of the current time, starting at the end of February.

Lawmakers want Florida students to take their standardized tests at the end of the school year, instead of the current time, starting at the end of February.

Lawmakers want Florida students to take their standardized tests at the end of the school year, instead of the current time, starting at the end of February.

Lawmakers want Florida students to take their standardized tests at the end of the school year, instead of the current time, starting at the end of February.

A Kissimmee real estate developer has made a $5 million donation to the University of Central Florida athletics department.

A Kissimmee real estate developer has made a $5 million donation to the University of Central Florida athletics department.

Rebekah Krausman, a math teacher at Winter Springs High School, talks about the importance of her students taking AP classes to prepare for college-level courses, Tuesday February 21, 2017. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) 

Rebekah Krausman, a math teacher at Winter Springs High School, talks about the importance of her students taking AP classes to prepare for college-level courses, Tuesday February 21, 2017. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) 

Orange County school officials can't decide if they should push high school start times to 8 a.m. or later.

Orange County school officials can't decide if they should push high school start times to 8 a.m. or later.

The Florida Senate’s education committee Tuesday passed a bill that would mandate 20 minutes of daily recess in all public elementary schools. This was a first favorable vote for a measure that parents have been pushing for more than two years.

The Florida Senate’s education committee Tuesday passed a bill that would mandate 20 minutes of daily recess in all public elementary schools. This was a first favorable vote for a measure that parents have been pushing for more than two years.

A Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia was vandalized this past weekend, while one in Missouri was damaged the week before.

Mike Lawrence, a spokesman for the Seminole County school district, said administrators often are leery about discussing such incidents publicly, fearful they might end up providing identifying information about the student who got in trouble, in violation of state law.

But he said they also have tried to be proactive by sharing that students will face consequences if caught defacing school property or harassing other students, for example.

Kagan said she was proud of Stella for speaking to administrators about what happened.

Stella said she has no doubt the graffiti was directed at her since it appeared where she usually sits and the day after she mentioned to friends on the bus that she attends Hebrew school.

"I don't know why somebody would be so rude," she said, adding that she even wondered, "Did I do something?"

There have been no other incidents on her bus ride since then, and the graffiti has been removed. Still, she said, "I try not to sit in that seat anymore."

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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