LARKSPUR (CBS SF) — A number of students at Redwood High in Larkspur gathered Wednesday morning to show their support for the school employee recently targeted by racist graffiti on the campus.
The Central Marin Police Authority is investigating a racist vandalism incident at the school.
The racial slur painted on the school’s “Spirit Ball” at the athletic field targeted a female school employee, police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.
The employee has been identified in news reports and social media as Assistant Principal LaSandra White.
A school employee discovered the vandalism around 8 a.m. Tuesday, and it was cleaned up before students arrived, Rohrbacher said.
The vandalism occurred between 3 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday. The vandalism will be handled as a hate crime, according to Rohrbacher.
The Spirit Ball is a large metal sphere where students can write positive messages encouraging school spirit, Rohrbacher said.
On Wednesday, the Redwood High Twitter account posted a series of photos of students showing their support for Assistant Principal White. One photo, taken at night, showed the Spirit Ball with the racist message removed and the word “LOVE” written in large capital letters replacing it.
Additional photos showed the main office at Redwood High filled with flowers sent to White and a number of students lining up to give her flowers and hugs in a show of support Wednesday morning.
“Our students were lined up by the hundreds to present our Assistant Principal with flowers to show their support for her,” said Redwood High School Principal David Sonheim.
The line stretched out the principal’s office and down the hall. The office staff was in tears as, one by one, students each dropped off a flower.
Like a lot of kids, student Emma O’Connor saw what was happening and headed out to the school’s rose garden.
“I’m pretty sure they were from the garden, because you can clip the roses at Redwood,” O’Connor said with a laugh.
It turns out, it only takes one person to cause a stir, but it takes hundreds to put it back in proper perspective.
“They want you to direct your focus to the hate comment, you know? But when I went into the office, I saw Ms. White crying,” OConnor said. “But I don’t think it was because of the hate. I think it was because of the love that people gave her.”
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Detective Cody Ebert at (415) 927-5150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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