For the second time in less than a week, a suburban high school is dealing with controversy after racist graffiti was found in a bathroom.
The graffiti was found in the girls’ bathroom at Oak Park and River Forest High School, and after the incident, the second in less than a week, the school is hosting a community conversation about hate to try to stem the tide of racially-charged incidents.
On Wednesday, there were more police officers in the school, and officials are reviewing hours of surveillance video from security cameras to find out who is responsible for the hateful messages.
In the latest incident, the person behind the graffiti scrawled out words calling for the deaths of “blacks (and) Muslims,” as well as a swastika and the phrase “gas the Jews.”
“She was nervous going into today, and we kept her home yesterday,” Michelle Jamison, the mother of a student, said. “Today I urged her to go. We cannot hide from this, (and) we cannot ignore it.”
Last week, a special education teacher at the school was the target of graffiti found on a shed at the school. That message, also racist in nature, featured the phrase “white power” and two swastikas, and was directed at teacher Anthony Clark.
“Whoever wrote that, they want you to be afraid,” he said.
Clark, along with other faith and community leaders, will be front and center at an event Wednesday night as officials try to put a stop to the messages.
“We are not accepting this, and we are not backing down,” Jamison said.