Police have launched a hate crime investigation after graffiti with anti-Semitic and racist messaging was found on the outside wall of a Newmarket elementary school.

Officers were first dispatched to St. Paul Catholic Elementary School on William Roe Boulevard just before 7 a.m. to investigate the graffiti.

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the York Catholic District School Board said that its staff discovered the graffiti this morning and immediately contacted police.

“As a school community, this kind of hate-motivated crime is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” the statement notes. “It goes against our Catholic values of equity, inclusion and respect; as well as the honour we place on the diversity of each human being. YCDSB feels strongly that any belief that excludes or denigrates others must be challenged, and we strive to build welcoming, safe and inclusive communities.”

The YCDSB says that cleaning crews were at the school on Monday to remove the offensive markings.

Meanwhile, police said that they were appealing to witnesses or anyone with dashcam or video surveillance footage from the area to contact investigators.