Walter Johnson High School vandalized with racist graffiti

The principal of a Montgomery County, Maryland, high school said she was “disheartened” to learn that the school had been vandalized with racist graffiti.

In a letter to the Walter Johnson High School community, Principal Jennifer Baker said that the vandalism at the Bethesda school included references to white supremacy and other hate speech and said that these symbols are “harmful and unsettling for many” in the community.

“We are very mindful of how such actions may evoke fear and anger and we have worked quickly to cover the images,” Baker said.

Graffiti bearing the same message was also found on a pedestrian bridge over the Capital Beltway, Bethesda Beat reported, as well as some local businesses, according to Fox 5.

Baker said the actions will not be tolerated and any student involved will receive disciplinary action. She noted that recent county Board of Education actions specifically include the prohibition of hate symbols and language, and they are covered in the student’s rights and responsibilities and Montgomery County Public Schools’ student code of conduct.

“We are a wonderfully diverse community and we must continue to take a stand against acts of hate, hateful and harmful rhetoric,” Baker said.

This is the latest incident involving racist graffiti on a Montgomery County school. In 2020, three teenagers were charged in connection to “racially-themed vandalisms” at Walt Whitman High School. Also last year, “hate-based” graffiti was found at an elementary school in Clarksburg.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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