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14 Arlington Students Could Avoid Vandalism Charges With Restorative Justice Program

After graffiti with anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages were found at Arlington High School, students wrote messages of inclusion in chalk on the building's front brick archways. (Jess Voas for WBUR)
After graffiti with anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages were found at Arlington High School, students wrote messages of inclusion in chalk on the building's front brick archways. (Jess Voas for WBUR)
This article is more than 1 year old.

Fourteen boys accused of spray-painting a swastika and anti-gay slurs on a Massachusetts high school will avoid criminal charges if they participate in a program called restorative justice.

Police say the boys also vandalized equipment inside Arlington High School, damaging fire extinguishers, vending machines, display cases and an emergency defibrillator. The damage was discovered May 2.

Officials say the boys will be offered the chance to participate in a program that gives victims the opportunity to meet with offenders and offer ideas about possible restitution. If the boys decline to participate, they could face criminal prosecution.

The decision was made in consultation with the Arlington Human Rights Commission, the Anti-Defamation League and the Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow.

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