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Daycare centers cancels 32nd annual fall festival after swastika found

The fall festival that has taken place for the past 32 years at Early Years Academy is canceled.

Daycare academy founder Samia Harris told us she moved the outdoor festival inside after a swastika was found painted on the sign outside of her business on Spriggs Road near Dale City.

“Everybody is jittery. I’m jittery. The kids didn’t go out today. We have a fall festival on Friday we are bringing it in. Instead of just enjoying the beautiful field with the pumpkins and everything that we planned, it’s now canceled.

Here’s why in a statement from Prince William police:

“Vandalism – On October 21 at 6:05PM, officers responded to the Prince William Academy located at 13817 Spriggs Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a destruction of property. The investigation revealed that sometime between 6:00PM on October 20 and 6:00PM on October 21, an unknown person spray painted a swastika symbol on the sign to the school that faces the roadway.

Additional vandalisms were located on a neighboring sign and on property in the surrounding neighborhood including two stop signs, a fire hydrant, a mailbox and a vehicle. Some of the vandalism appeared random and illegible.

During a canvass, a witness reported seeing a group of possible juveniles in the area at the time of the vandalisms on the evening of October 20. No further information was provided.” 

Harris said it was a police officer who called her and told her about the graffiti on painted on her sign. This incident follows after someone taped a note to the door of a Dumfries church stating “white power” in August.

Though it drew attention from Sen. Tim Kaine and local leaders, that incident remains unsolved.

The swastika incident also drew the attention of local leaders and community members. They gathered Monday afternoon outside the daycare center.

Symbols of hate swastikas have absolutely zero business in Prince William County,” said State Senator Jeremy McPike. This is a fantastic place as you see here today of faith and international diversity that makes us the richest place in Virginia and the United States, frankly.”

“We are right down the street about 200 yards from here and this is our neighborhood, as well. But I also have a bigger tie. I have a tie to this school. And to Dr. Harris for over 20 years my daughter came here when I was first stationed in Washington D.C. We lived in Dale City. This has been a part of our life my family’s life for over 20 years,” said Harry Kantrovich, with Congregation Ner Shalom. “We need to come together. I spent 23 years in the military to fight against this hate.”

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call at 703-792-6500.

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