BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A prestigious, private Baltimore County school held a community meeting Tuesday after a racist threat forced them to close school last week.
This was the second recent community meeting, and school officials said there had been a buildup of racial tension before the recent incident.
Members of the Black Alumni Association and school officials say they are committed to making sure all students are comfortable.
Loyola Blakefield, a private boys Jesuit school, is grappling with a racial incident that’s tarnished its reputation and rattled the student body.
Officials were forced to cancel all school activities last Thursday after someone scribbled “No ‘n-words’ better come on Thursday” inside a bathroom stall.
On its website, Loyola Blakefield stresses a commitment to ensuring “an inclusive environment, which welcomes all.”
Tuesday night, the school’s president addressed a packed auditorium of concerned parents.
The media was prohibited, but alum Wesley Wood said he was encouraged by the promises that were made.
“African American alumni, not just at Loyola, but at other schools, are disappointed at the slow pace of progress, but we intend to use this as a moment of learning,” said Wesley Wood, with the Black Alumni Association.
On the day the incident was reported, school officials got Baltimore County police involved with the investigation.
“There are a lot of people who go to that school, and someone must know something, so what we will be doing is working with the school system to conduct interviews and review all surveillance video cameras,” police said.
School officials told police there had been a buildup of other racial incidents throughout the year that lead to this point.
In a statement, the president said, “We are heartbroken and outraged by this attack on the respect and dignity of members of our community, especially our African American members who were targeted by this hateful message.”
In recent weeks, other local private schools have been embroiled in similar controversies.
Former Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes is a Loyola Blakefield alumni, and he gives his school a passing grade on how leaders are handling this problem.
“But I think that Loyola, quite frankly, is doing a service by calling it out,” he said.
WJZ contacted Loyola Blakefield officials Tuesday evening. They had no updated comments on if a suspect has been identified.
The president of the school said once the person who is responsible for the threat is found, they will no longer be part of the school’s community.