OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Jewish Federation of Kansas City is among the groups sharing outrage.
Civil rights groups around Johnson County are upset after the discovery of antisemitic and racist graffiti at Blue Valley High School, which was part of a string of vandalism found at the school on Monday.
A fresh coat of paint now covers the graffiti. Workers covered the spray-painted epithets found on and in the school’s football stadium press box on Tuesday.
The graffiti included slurs against people of color, Jewish people and members of the LGBT community. The high school’s principal said this doesn’t reflect his school’s true spirit.
“Obviously, I want whoever did this to learn and to realize their mistake,” Aharon Zazulia, who leads the metro’s Jewish Student Union, said Tuesday.
Zazulia’s organization represents students from 10 KC-area high schools, enabling them to explore and grow in their Jewish faith and embrace their heritage.
Blue Valley School District leaders aren’t sure if this was the work of a student or someone else. The vandals also damaged equipment inside the stadium.
Zazulia said if this is someone’s idea of a prank or joke, it’s hurtful.
“If this keeps getting out as the cool thing to do, or the funny thing to do, or the right thing to do, if people really believe that, then everyone is lost,” Zazulia said.
Henry E. Lyons, who represents the NAACP Chapter of Overland Park, wants answers, too. Lyons said he knows most of that high school’s students aren’t racist, but someone should be held responsible.
“We have to punish the people who did it because that’s what we have to do. We have to show people you can’t get away with things like this,” Lyons told FOX4.
Blue Valley School District leaders are still looking into this matter. Overland Park Police spokesperson John Lacy said police are investigating this as incidents of burglary and destruction of property.
Proving this to be a hate crime may be tricky, but it’s not impossible, according to police.