Racist graffiti found at Oak Park-River Forest HS for 3rd time in days

OAK PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- For the third time in just days, racist graffiti was found at Oak Park - River Forest High school. The discovery has left the campus and its students on edge.

"It's sad that it's happening here. I'm scared a little bit, too," senior James Bronco Emmenegger said.

"Honestly, I'm angry, I'm scared," said Michala Anderson, student activist.

On Oct. 2, racist graffiti targeting special education teacher Anthony Clark was found on campus on an outdoor shed. The scribble included two swastikas and the words "white power."

The African American educator is a community activist and was featured in a national documentary series focusing on race relations at the high school.

"I believe whoever wrote this, they wanted to attack me as an individual and they wanted to attack the school as an institution, and by doing so, they hoped that they would send a message to stop the efforts," Clark said.

On Monday, more racist graffiti was found in a classroom and in a girl's bathroom.

"When this happens we don't think of this as an isolated incident, we think 'Here we go again,'" said Rabbi Adir Glick.

Wednesday night hundreds of community activists, parents, students and teachers filled the cafeteria trying to air grievances and get answers about why this is happening and what's being done to stop it.

"Here I am, ready to take this on with students, staff and the community," said Dr. Pruitt Adams, School District Superintendent.

"These conversations that happened today in classes not once mentioned they were of anti-Semitic nature," said Ella Lambert.

But not all of the questions were answered and many left frustrated.

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For the third time in just days, racist graffiti was found at Oak Park - River Forest High school.

Earlier on Wednesday, student leaders helped with classroom discussions. There have already been two school assemblies last week.

"It's very divided here right now, kinda segregated," senior Michela Anderson said.

"I think the problems have always been here, it's just been a lot of tension bubbling beneath the surface," senior Veronica Rooney said.

All the incidents have been reported to police. School administrators notified parents about the problems by email.

"It's unfortunate, but racism is racism," parent Martha Mitchell said.

OPRF superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams told parents in an email she's launched an investigation.

"They are safe in this space. Hate has no place here at Oak Park - River Forest High School," Dr. Pruitt-Adams said.

"Things are happening at the school. It's sad that it took this long to realize... it's happening in our bubble," senior Aaliyah Brown said.

Police and school officials are hoping surveillance video may lead them to whomever is responsible for the graffiti.
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