HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston's NAACP spoke out today after students returning to Memorial High School for the new year were met with a slew of racist graffiti messages across campus Wednesday morning.
"I addition to the N-word painted all over, Nazi swastika's were also on showcase for the students to see," described Yolanda Smith, Exec Director of NAACP Houston.
A notice from the school said the graffiti appears on school property along the main courtyard, and on a west parking lot wall. It includes racial slurs, hate symbols, and foul language.
Surveillance video of the suspects has been provided by the district to Crime Stoppers, and will be released soon to the public in hopes of identifying those responsible.
In a letter to parents, Memorial High School principal Lisa Weir says the topic was addressed school wide and teachers provided time and space for students to share their thoughts and feelings during first period. Counselors were available immediately, and the topic would be addressed with each grade level individually in assemblies this week.
Weir noted, "we are shocked and angered that our school has been targeted and that our students returned to a new year to find your campus defaced in such a mean spirited way."
Spring Branch ISD says the district police have the incident under full investigation.
While NAACP leadership applauds the swift response of the district, they further encourage a deeper into the root of the issue after receiving reports of upsetting student reaction.
"Students were posing in front of the swastika," claims Dallas Jones, First Vice President of the NAACP Houston. "White students were actually posing, and laughing, and enjoying it. What does that mean for the students to see their classmates do that?"
Memorial High School is already voluntarily involved in the Anti-Defamation League's "No Place For Hate" program, which generates programming related to inclusion and anti-bullying. The ADL today echoed sentiments condemning the graffiti.
NAACP representatives acknowledged the culprit may not be a member of the school community, and voiced their believe that most acts of hate in Houston are perpetrated by a small few.
"We're a diverse city," reminds Jones, "we're an inclusive city, we represent all the things that are great about this country and we as Houstonians, we is the NAACP, will not stand for that type of behavior."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Spring Branch Independent School District Police Department.