PALM COAST, Fla. – A palm coast playground was vandalized with graffiti of swastikas and other hate symbols. A mother is now working to get the community talking about the issue.
“I mean straight away I noticed the swastika because it stood out prominently,” Valentina Paralitici said.
Paralitici said she brings her children to Belle Terre park often. On Sunday, she said she arrived to find the park filled with swastikas, curse words and other vulgar messages spray-painted on the playground and gazebo.
“My kids asked me what it was and I thought about it for a second about how I was going to explain it to five-year-olds,” she said.
Paralitici reported it to the Flagler County Sheriff’s office and brought back cleaning supplies to take the symbols down herself.
Now, she wants the community to start talking and growing.
“At what point do you say it’s not enough to just go after the perpetrators and punish them,” she said.
The Flagler County sheriff’s office said right now, there are no leads in the case. Deputies said there also wasn’t any security camera footage from nearby buildings. A spokesperson said they are adding extra patrols and security checks at all city parks.
Palm Coast city leaders said hate symbols in graffiti don’t show up too often. They said the city council will talk about community action plans and they’re looking to add security cameras.
“It’s something we’re always looking into and we’re addressing and evaluating for our parks,” said Brad West, spokesperson for the city.
Paralitici said she hopes parents will talk to their kids at home about the seriousness of hate symbols and speech.
“They’re obviously hurting, you don’t come out and draw those very chauvinistic symbols without having some kind of pain,” she said.
Use the form below to sign up for the ClickOrlando.com Strange Florida newsletter, sent every Friday.