Graffiti with a racial slur was spray-painted on the wall of Summerland Secondary School and a wall at the school’s tennis courts.
The anti-Black slur was first observed on June 10 and School District 67 staff worked to remove the graffiti once they were informed about it.
Linda Van Alphen, one of the Summerland school trustees, said the racial slur is disappointing, especially since the school district has been promoting anti-racism for years.
“I have this incredible feeling of sadness,” she said. “There is absolutely no excuse for this.”
She added that if the mark was left by a young person, it was not because of what is being taught at school, but because of what the child or teen has learned from their parents.
Todd Manuel, superintendent of schools at the Okanagan Skaha School District, said the RCMP has been contacted about the racist graffiti at the school.
He added that the the incident does not represent the attitudes in the community.
“This is not a refection of the people of Summerland,” he said. “It is unfortunate that there are a few who make such statements. We denounce racist language in all forms.”
For years, the school district has been working to create an inclusive environment, where everyone can feel welcome, he said.
The incident is not the first time graffiti with a racist message has been observed in Summerland.
In July 2020, the home of an Indo-Canadian family was vandalized with swastikas and other racist imagery painted on the walls of the house. Then, in May 2022, a mural at the high school, with a Truth and Reconciliation message, was defaced by vandals. The mural had been created by students in the school less than eight months earlier.
The most recent graffiti slurs were painted on a wall near the Every Child Matters mural.
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