The vandals who painted swastikas and other hateful signs on the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation remind us that such acts are still a part of this society ("Graffiti of swastikas found in Pikesville," July 24).

Some contend these acts are isolated incidents and mere childish pranks. What they actually are, however, is learned behavior from their community, including parents who teach the perpetrators that it is OK.

It is not OK, and such acts are not just childish pranks. They must be called what they are: Hate crimes and acts of terrorism. And they must always be condemned.

As former head of a statewide group called the Coalition Opposed to Violence and Extremism, I have had experience that teaches me the value of treating these acts for what they are. They need to be viewed in the historical context of what those symbols have come to represent. But they cannot be ignored or dismissed.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville