Similar graffiti was left at the K-8 school in November.
Students were removed from their classroom in Madrona School in Edmonds on Monday morning after a teacher and another employee discovered a racial slur and profanity spray-painted onto a skylight.
Karin Butler, a teacher coordinator at the school and mother of two students in the classroom, said she and the teacher noticed the children staring up at the skylight as the morning session was to begin.
“We were really horrified,” said Butler, who filed a report of the incident to ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project.
The pair ushered the children out of the classroom while Principal Lynda Fischer documented the graffiti for a police report, and then covered the skylight. The class is a mix of first- through third-grade students.
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Butler said she didn’t expect her family — her children are mixed-race — would have to deal with incidents like this in Edmonds. On Tuesday, the last day of classes for the Edmonds School District, Butler said her youngest son didn’t want to go to school.
“We’re a really close community,” she said. “So it’s really heartbreaking this is happening, and that there are people who want to spread this message.”
The Edmonds Police Department, in a statement, said, “Messages of hate, political disdain, sexual references and other vulgarity” were spray-painted on the roof and skylight between Friday night and Sunday morning. Police said the graffiti also included numbers, letters and unidentifiable images.
The incident is not the first time the school has dealt with racially charged vandalism this school year. In November, a racial slur and profanity were found on a wall in a restroom.
“We want to emphasize that we take this seriously and want to identify the individual or individuals responsible for this latest incident,” Fischer wrote in an email to parents Monday evening.
Fischer is retiring at the end of June, but wrote that the new principal and district leadership will be “closely looking at the concerns being expressed by members of our community in light of the repeat incident.”
In their statement, Edmonds police urge anyone with information to help identify suspects.