Racist, pro-Trump graffiti found at Palo Alto High School

Superintendent: 'Hate speech is a serious offense'

The Palo Alto High School administration and Palo Alto Police Department are investigating racist and pro-Donald Trump graffiti that was found on campus Monday morning.

Custodial staff discovered the graffiti before school on Monday, according to Jorge Quintana, communications coordinator for the school district. Student news outlet the Paly Voice reported that two messages — "Black Lives Suck," a reference to the social movement Black Lives Matter, and "Trump 1237" (the number of delegates needed to secure the presidential nomination) — were written in black marker in at least three places on campus, including a bathroom door and on benches. Custodians immediately removed the graffiti.

Superintendent Max McGee said he is "outraged" by the graffiti.

"Hate speech is a serious offense," he told the Weekly Tuesday morning. "Both sadness and outrage are appropriate expressions for this kind of graffiti."

McGee said there will be "significant and serious consequences" for those found responsible.

Graffiti and vandalism are included as prohibited student conduct in a board policy, as well as discrimination and "hate-motivated behavior."

Mariah Poitier, an African-American student who serves as Paly student government's social-justice and school-climate commissioner, told the Weekly Tuesday afternoon that she was surprised and upset to see the graffiti at a school that champions diversity and inclusion.

The "Black Lives Suck" message was upsetting on a more personal level, she said. It reinforced the very mindset that the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to change: "how much a black person's life is worth versus a white person's life," she said.

How the school chooses to respond, Poitier said, is the "most important thing." The administration nor any of her teachers have mentioned the graffiti, but she hopes they will acknowledge it rather than "sweep it under the rug."

The appearance of the graffiti also coincided with the start of Paly's "Change In Our Schools Week," a student-driven initiative dedicated to increasing awareness around different racial, cultural and gender identities and issues like social justice and mindfulness.

The Paly administration is investigating the incident and also called Palo Alto police to campus on Monday morning, Quintana said. The police department is conducting its own investigation, according to Quintana.

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18 people like this
Posted by Defaced
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Defaced is a registered user.

This is happening more and more everywhere! Not just in the USA, in fact, less in the USA than in Australia, Canada, France, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany. Poland, Lithuanis, etc, etc.....

Most of it is aimed at Muslims and immigrants from the PRoC, not blacks.

It is sad, but many European governments have expressed the fear that multi-cultural isn isn't working out for them.

38 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

Are there any photos of the "Black Lives suck" graffiti?

Regardless, I would urge caution before assigning blame this nasty grafitti to Trump supporters. There are plenty of people who engage in phony associations.

In our high school, there was a sudden outbreak of racist graffiti directed at Hispanics. At the same time, they were writing a Republican senatorial candidate's name on the walls too. Eventually, the taggers were caught and they turned out to be students from M.E.Ch.A. a Mexican-American student organization that favored "retaking Aztlán" (the lands that once belonged to Mexico).

I am not a Trump supporter, but those that I know do not espouse any racism or tagging for that matter.

17 people like this
Posted by Defaced
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Defaced is a registered user.

This sort of defacement is happening world wide, although in most cases it is aimed at Muslims and immigrants from the PRoC, not blacks.

It is still racist, nonetheless, and from my experiences in Europe, Australia, England, Canada and Brazil, such racism occurs less in America than in most other countries.

13 people like this
Posted by Defaced
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Defaced is a registered user.

This is alarming that any student would do such a thing! Makes me wonder if it were a Trump supporter, or just some troublemaker.

This sort of thing happens far less frequently here in the US than the remarks and defacement so I have heard and seen in the UK, Europe, Brazil, Australia and Canada. Or even Japan.

45 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm

The final paragraph touting some "Change in our Schools" program is the reason for the graffiti. We are tired of the social justice programs and the tyrannical bullying of the hard left which demonizes anyone with a different opinion.

It encourages suppression and silence over a balanced discourse.

That being said, chalking "black lives suck" is crude and uncalled for.

Trump 2016

21 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Don't they have video cameras at Paly? Catch the perps and send them to jail!

22 people like this
Posted by Valerie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm

As the mother of two Paly graduates, both of whom continue to be involved in social justice issues, I am saddened to see this. Unfortunately, there are a few bigots in every community. I trust the Paly administration and faculty will respond constructively and humanely to this offense.

45 people like this
Posted by Cliff Huxtable
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

I understand why "black lives sucks" is bad but what's the problem with the pro-Trump line? Would the PAUSD be calling out a scrawl that said "feel the bern!"

19 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm

[Post removed.]

19 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 20, 2016 at 7:13 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Trump supporters are saying much worse things in Trump rallies and on internet blogs and radio call-Ins. This is just a matter of chickens coming home to roost.

17 people like this
Posted by Open Campus is Easy Target
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Open Campus is Easy Target is a registered user.

One cannot assume that it's a Paly student(s) who is vandalizing. It could've been anyone passing through Palo Alto.

Paly is a completely open, accessible campus. They have no video cameras or security guards. It's a security disaster from a student safety perspective during the school day. And after school hours, there is absolutely nothing stopping any random person from wandering through campus and vandalizing at night. Any random person could've done this outside of school hours. It's wide open next to Stanford, Town & Country, neighborhoods, and the general public. What Paly and the students all need is real security.

1 person likes this
Posted by stanhutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm

stanhutchings is a registered user.

I would not expect young people to be in favor of Trump because his politics is contrary to the well-being of people in the latter half of this century and into the future. It is the youth of today who will face the extreme disruptions caused by overpopulation, over-consumption, pollution of the air, ocean and land, unsustainable use of natural resources, etc. He favors the 1% (being in that stratospheric circle) to the detriment of the 99% (most if not all of the Paly students). The youth of today will have to clean up the mess created by those of the older generation who cared only for their own wealth and power.

4 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2016 at 7:40 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

Here is another example of false "persecution" graffiti intended to cast blame on a particular group:

Web Link

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