RIO LINDA (CBS13) — Concern surfaces over racist messages plastered around a Sacramento high school.
The vandals struck Rio Linda High School last week. One parent says she doesn’t think the district is doing enough to address intolerance, so she’s removed her child from school indefinitely, in fear for his safety.
The words “Trump will deport you” were tagged on a Spanish teacher’s door at Rio Linda High for Twialla Mitchell’s 14-year-old son to see when he arrived on campus Friday morning. But, that wasn’t all.
“They wrote that slavery was a choice, called one of the teachers a Jew,” said Mitchell.
In all, four classrooms, two elevator doors, and a wall were tagged with hate messages.
“These are life-changing events,” said Mitchell.
She notified the school about the messages at 6:30 a.m. School officials confirm the graffiti was cleaned up by 8:30, an hour after class starts, but admitted they missed one door with the hateful message about deportation, which wasn’t cleaned up until 10:30 a.m.
“One hour is too long. I can’t allow this to just continue, to be swept under the rug. I cant.”
In a statement, the Twin Rivers Unified School District said, “We are deeply disturbed by the graffiti discovered at one of our schools last week as it is behavior that is unacceptable.”
But, Mitchell says officials never notified parents or reached out to students to say intolerance won’t be tolerated.
“What about the children who now hold this inside? What about the children who are embarrassed or ashamed?” said Mitchell.
It’s not the first time Mitchell’s son has faced racism. She says in November, he and two other African-American teens were chased onto campus by a man firing a gun and calling them racial slurs. The campus was placed on lockdown and deputies responded, but the suspect was never caught.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton said, “We take that very seriously. If there’s any mention of shots being fired and there were actually people fired upon that are coming to us, that is something we take seriously.”
Mitchell says she never received any follow up from law enforcement or the school. The district says because the incident occurred off campus, it wasn’t involved in the investigation.
Mitchell said she hoped both incidents would have been handled with more urgency and concern.
“It tells us that their lives don’t matter and that’s not okay. That can’t be okay.”
District officials say they are investigating the hate messages, which they also say are a reminder that they still have a lot more work to do in the community to keep schools free of harassment and discrimination.