Police investigate graffiti at Skyview High School

No suspects in incident believed to happen overnight

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter

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A custodian who arrived at Skyview High School early Tuesday found “hate graffiti” displayed on two walls of the school campus, a district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The custodian, who arrived for work at 5 a.m., found graffiti covering a number of subjects, including race, religion and gender, Vancouver Public Schools spokeswoman Pat Nuzzo said. She was unable to offer specifics on what exactly was spray-painted on the school.

The district reported the incident to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, but as of Wednesday, there were no suspects and limited information was available.

“They assume it happened sometime in the middle of the night,” Nuzzo said.

Skyview High School officials are trying to reassure students and parents that the campus remains a safe place. The school held an assembly in response to the graffiti on Wednesday, Nuzzo said.

Principal James Gray wrote an email to families about the incident on Wednesday, and the school issued a robocall about it that evening.

“I love this school and these kids,” Gray said in the email. “I will do everything in my power to protect them from harm and prepare them for a successful future.”

The graffiti appears to be the latest in a rash of incidents nationwide since Donald Trump’s presidential win. The Southern Poverty Law Center has counted more than 400 cases of “hateful harassment,” including graffiti, since last week’s election.

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, weighed in on the incidents Tuesday after a racial epithet was spray-painted on Spokane’s Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center.

“Whatever the misguided reasoning behind these crimes, let me be absolutely clear: Any act of hate in our state is intolerable,” Inslee wrote on Facebook.