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'Extensive' hate graffiti found on high school campus in Pacific Palisades

After numerous hate-related symbols and messages were found spray-painted on Palisades Charter High School over the weekend, roughly 300 students and community activists gathered Monday morning to protest the vandalism. 

Demonstrators called for an investigation into the graffiti, which a neighbor reported about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, said Lt. Cheron Bartee of Los Angeles School Police Department. The anti-racism demonstration was peaceful, she said.

Photographs on social media showed students gathered at a common area in the campus, at 15777 Bowdoin St. in Pacific Palisades.

Symbols and phrases that referenced the Ku Klux Klan, Jews, African Americans and LGBT people, were found on city property outside the campus, on the school’s signage and a mural, Bartee said. Police believe the writings, which have since been covered, were spray-painted overnight.

Surveillance video shows a person wearing a red beanie and a white mask spray painting the property, according to Brad Daley, executive assistant to the principal. School officials are working with police detectives to identify the person.

Campus administrators sent emails to students and parents notifying them about the “pretty extensive” vandalism.

Principal Pamela Magee advised students and parents that there have been no threats to the school. Magee advised any students with information to report it to authorities.

“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 the email.

During the first period of the school day Monday, students refused to attend class and demanded school officials talk to them about the graffiti, Daley said.

School officials met with the students, who asked for a swift investigation, and that arrests be made, he said. Students also called on school staff to be vigilant of any hate-related acts.

“We haven’t had anything like this in several years,” Daley said. “We don’t know what could be prompting this.”

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

10:50 p.m.: This story was updated to correct that Brad Daley is the executive assistant to the principal.

This story was originally published at 3:17 p.m.

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