2 arrested after racist graffiti found at Palisades Charter High School

Two students at Palisades Charter High School were arrested in connection with racist graffiti that was spray-painted on a sign and an iconic mural at the Westside campus, police said late Tuesday.

Both students are under the age of 18 and were released to their parents, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. Their identities were not released.

One was cited for vandalism; the other was cited for conspiracy to commit vandalism, police said.

Racist graffiti was found about 6:30 a.m. Sunday by a person who lives near the school, located in the 15700 block of Bowdoin Street in Pacific Palisades, said Lt. Cheron Bartee of the Los Angeles School Police Department.

Symbols and phrases that referenced the Ku Klux Klan, Jews, African Americans and LGBT people were found on the 11-acre campus, as well as a bus stop, the sidewalk and nearby trees. Surveillance video showed a person who was wearing a red beanie and a white mask while defacing the property.

The vandalism roiled the school, which has nearly 3,000 students. During the first period of the school day Monday, students refused to attend class and demanded school officials discuss the graffiti, said Brad Daley, the executive assistant to the principal. Students later called for a swift investigation, he added.

About 300 students and community activists also gathered Monday to protest the vandalism.

Principal Pamela Magee advised students and parents that there were no threats to the school, which police reiterated in a statement issued late Tuesday.

“PCHS does not tolerate hate speech or related actions and is working closely with law enforcement to identify and apprehend those responsible,” Magee said in an email to students and parents.

The high school, which was established in 1961, has a student body that is 53% white, 22% Latino and 15% black. An additional 10% of students are Asian/Pacific Islander, according to demographic data published on the school's website.

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