The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) is investigating graffiti at five locations near Old Georgetown Road as a “biased incident,” Police Spokesperson Casandra Tressler told MyMCM Tuesday.
The locations include Walter Johnson High School, the Georgetown Square Shopping Center, two churches and a museum, Tressler said. Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage and trying to find witnesses. In a letter to the Walter Johnson community on Sunday, Principal Jennifer Baker said the school was vandalized with references to white supremacy and hate speech.
“Defacing our school with graffiti is bad enough, but symbols of hate speech are harmful and unsettling for many in our community,” Baker said in her letter. She said staff quickly removed the graffiti.
“We are a wonderfully diverse community and we must continue to take a stand against acts of hate, hateful and harmful rhetoric.” Baker said any students involved will face disciplinary consequences.
Read the full letter:
October 3, 2021
Dear Walter Johnson Community,
I was deeply troubled and disheartened to learn this morning that our school had been vandalized with graffiti that included references to white supremacy and other hate speech. Defacing our school with graffiti is bad enough, but symbols of hate speech are harmful and unsettling for many in our community. We are very mindful of how such actions may evoke fear and anger and we have worked quickly to cover the images. I appreciate our community members who alerted me and thank our staff who took swift action to have the graffiti removed.
We are a wonderfully diverse community and we must continue to take a stand against acts of hate, hateful and harmful rhetoric. These actions will not be tolerated and any students involved will receive disciplinary consequences in alignment with the student Code of Conduct in MCPS. It should be noted that recent Board of Education actions specifically include prohibition of hate symbols and language in policy ACA and are covered in the MCPS Student’s Guide to Rights and Responsibilities and Student Code of Conduct in MCPS.
As always, I appreciate your support as we strive to build a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment where all students can thrive. Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.