Police Investigate Hate-Based Graffiti Vandalism at Burning Tree Elementary in Bethesda

police carMontgomery County police officers are investigating a case of hate-based vandalism at Burning Tree Elementary School, which is located at 7900 Beech Tree Road in the Westlake area of Bethesda.

Police said the vandalism was discovered around 10 a.m. on Sunday morning. Police describe the vandalism as spray painted images of swastikas and male genitalia on a banner near the school’s entrance.

Burning Tree Elementary School Assistant Principal Gabby Bellagamba sent the following ConnectED message to parents and guardians, according to MCPS Spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala: 

“Good evening Burning Tree Families,

“This is Assistant Principal Gabby Bellagamba.

“I am calling to inform you that someone spray painted swastikas and other inappropriate images on some school banners, sidewalks, and telephone poles at our school this weekend

“We are very saddened by this incident.

“The graffiti has been covered and will be removed as soon as possible. We have contacted the Montgomery County Police Department and are working with them as they investigate this incident.

“I apologize for calling late this evening but wanted to make you are aware of the situation. 

“Please contact the main office tomorrow if you have any questions. We appreciate all of your support as we move forward together. 

“Students, we will see you tomorrow morning for another great week of school.”

Anyone with information about this vandalism and/or the suspect(s) is asked to contact the 2nd District Investigative Section at 240.773.6710. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1.866.411.TIPS (8477).

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