Hateful graffiti found in bathroom

During the school day on May 6, graffiti was found in a boys’ bathroom depicting racial slurs and anti-Semitic symbols. Photos of the graffiti circulated through student social media.

An email from Patrick Hardy, OPRF’s executive director of equity and student success, and Lynda Parker, the assistant superintendent and principal, explained that an investigation is underway. Further, in response to the social media posts, they asked students to “consider that posting hateful speech or symbols spreads it and has unintended harmful consequences for the communities at which it is directed.”

Students and staff alike remember similar incidents during the 2018-2019 school year: anti-Semitic symbols were sent around during a large assembly; anti-Semitic and racist graffiti was found in bathrooms; and racist graffiti was found on the softball shed.

Director of Building and Grounds Fred Preuss, said similar occurrences have increased in the past year, and when “these types of actions happen in our school, it takes us away from the regular tasks that we would normally be focused on.”

Reflecting on the Devious Licks TikTok trend from first semester (vandalizing and stealing soap dispensers from the school’s bathrooms), Preuss said such incidents were targeted at the building. In terms of what happened last week, he said it was an act “against humanity, students and adults, and their race. Both (events) are unacceptable behavior in our school.”

An investigation is still underway, so more details may be released in the future. In the meantime, Hardy and Parker encouraged any who witness similar things throughout the school to contact the Welcome Center security staff by calling 708-434-3125. “These types of reprehensible words and symbols have absolutely no place in our school and will not be tolerated,” their message concluded.