Cleveland HS investigating racist graffiti found in bathroom - KPTV - FOX 12

Cleveland HS investigating racist graffiti found in bathroom

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The bathroom at Cleveland HS where racist graffiti was discovered. (KPTV) The bathroom at Cleveland HS where racist graffiti was discovered. (KPTV)

An investigation is underway, after racist graffiti was recently found at Cleveland High School in southeast Portland.

The message, which included the "F-word" and "N-word," was discovered last week by a bi-racial student. It was written on the back of the main door to a boys bathroom.

School leaders have been working to paint over the message, but it’s taken several layers to effectively cover it up. As the paint dries, the bathroom remains closed.

“I think that’s awful,” Cleveland senior Liam Zimmermann told FOX 12. “I that’s the current political climate though, and it’s really a signifier of the times, seeing stuff like that.”

“I guess bathroom graffiti is one thing,” added Cleveland junior Jaden Garsha. “But when it’s a racist, bad, awful message it shouldn’t be around.”

Principal Ayesha Freeman told FOX 12 she was frustrated and upset when she heard about the message.

“When I talked to our student who reported it and asked him how it made him feel, he said it made him really sad,” she said. “I want all the students at Cleveland to feel comfortable and safe to talk to an adult when they hear or observe or notice any hateful or racist language in our school.”

She met with the student who discovered the graffiti, and is proud that he came forward to report it. Now, school leaders are investigating and talking with both staff members and students to try and pinpoint who wrote it.

Whoever it was, their intentions may never be clear and it’s possible, given the high school setting, it was meant as some kind of prank.

But Principal Freeman said there’s nothing funny about it, and racist language will not be tolerated.

“Language of that nature does a lot of harm and there’s absolutely no humor behind it whatsoever,” she said. “Especially in a large public school where we’re serving 1,600 students and 120 staff members.”

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