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Gathering planned at Amherst playground where racist graffiti was removed

Concerned parents of students at Windermere Boulevard Elementary School in Amherst are organizing a community gathering this afternoon at the playground where offensive graffiti was found one day earlier.

The show of solidarity will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the playground at 291 Windermere Blvd., two blocks north of Kenmore Avenue, and all are welcome, said Alissa Shields, a parent and neighborhood resident.

Custodial staff Monday evening swiftly removed racist graffiti left at the school playground, where someone had scrawled what looked like a Star of David, commonly associated with Judaism, and a Nazi swastika, along with other indecipherable images, on a slide.

It was unclear how long the graffiti was there before concerned visitors began reporting it.

One person called Amherst Police at around 5 p.m., and a responding police officer then contacted Amherst Central Schools staff to have the graffiti removed, according to the police department.

This is what the slide looked like after school district staff cleaned off the offensive graffiti early Monday evening. (Stephen T. Watson/Buffalo News)

Sophia Kim, an Amherst schools alumna and Brooklyn resident who was visiting the playground with her sister, raised concerns about the graffiti on Twitter at around 6:45 p.m. It was gone by 8:15.

"Reporting hate crime is important," Kim said at the playground Monday evening. "I felt really sick."

There have been multiple incidents of racist graffiti across Western New York in recent months.

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