BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Loyola Blakefield closed school Thursday after a racial slur was etched onto a bathroom stall.
The cancellation was to ensure the safety of all students, but officials are working with police to weed out the vandal.READ MORE: ALERT DAY: Extreme Heat & Humidity Creating Potentially Dangerous Conditions
In an email to parents, the school stated the words “No n-words better come on Thursday” were found etched into a bathroom stall.
“Right now, we don’t have any evidence that it is a credible threat, but we are still looking into it in the event that it was,” says Jen Peach of the Baltimore County Police.
The bigoted message comes just months after students from four other Baltimore-area private schools came under fire for racially insensitive Halloween costumes, including one of an orange jumpsuit with “Freddie Gray” on the back and with swastikas drawn on his back.
The school released the following statement to WJZ Thursday:
Out of an abundance of care for our community, Loyola Blakefield’s administration decided to close school for the day on Thursday, December 14th. We did so after the discovery of graffiti etched onto the stall of a restroom, which included language of hate and bigotry, as well as a suggestive threat. We are working in partnership with the Baltimore County Police Department to investigate this hateful act.
This wave of racial incidents may have reached a tipping point.READ MORE: Suspect In Reisterstown Road Shooting Arrested
“The school indicated to us that they have had racial problems since the beginning of the school year,” Peach said. “And it appears that this graffiti that was left on the bathroom stall was a culmination of that, and had gotten to the point where the school thought that it was necessary to bring in police.”
When classes resume, police will be increasing their presence on campus and continuing to work with the school to find out who is responsible.
Many parents followed the school’s lead in changing their Facebook photos to a new “No Hate” logo.
“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,” said President Anthony Day. “We will discover who did this, and they will no longer be a part of our community.”
Loyola Blakefield is encouraging parents tonight to talk with their kids about the incident — and call in any tips.
WJZ learned late Thursday night that classes will be held Friday.MORE NEWS: Orioles Call Up Top Prospect Adley Rutschman