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Racist Graffiti Found on Mira Costa Campus

Feb 10, 2024 09:58AM ● By Mb News Staff

[Stock photo; not the actual perpetrator]

Racist graffiti was found on Thursday on the Mira Costa High School campus. The school and the Manhattan Beach Police Department are investigating.

An MBUSD spokesperson told MBNews that the graffiti was on a wall near the Mustang Mall. The district said it could not comment on whether the school's security cameras caught the incident because the crime is under investigation.

The incident was particularly unsettling because it occurred on a week when celebrations were taking place in honor of Black History Month.

Mira Costa Principal Karina Gerger shared the following message with families on Thursday:

We are disappointed to share deeply troubling news. This morning, our campus was vandalized with graffiti containing the ‘N-word’ on a wall near the Mustang Mall. District staff notified law enforcement immediately, and a police report was filed. Maintenance and Operations staff members worked quickly to remove the graffiti.

Racist language and racism are deplorable and hurtful to our entire community. These dehumanizing behaviors will not be tolerated. Staff is currently reviewing video footage to identify the perpetrator(s) who committed this act. We are asking our MCHS parents/guardians to talk with their student(s) to see if they know or have heard anything about this horrible act.

It is extremely upsetting to have had this happen on our campus, especially today, when our 11th Annual Black Scholar’s Union assembly took place, where we honored and celebrated the many historical and current contributions of African Americans to our society.  

We take pride in our school and the diversity of our campus. I know the vandalism does not reflect the values of our school, our staff, or the students we serve. Mira Costa High School and MBUSD strongly denounce any form of hate and racial intolerance. At Mira Costa, we continually work to create acceptance and a strong sense of belonging for all of our students, staff, and families. Most importantly, we are focused on the well-being of our students and on providing a safe and positive learning environment for everyone. 

We cannot state strongly enough that the “N-word” is a direct statement of hate. As a community, we must stand united against such conduct. We will continue our investigation, working with the Manhattan Beach Police Department, and update our community as we learn more information.

In his newsletter to parents, MBUSD Superintendent John Bowes said, "This hate crime is detrimental to the core values of our district and has no place on our campuses or community. As a No Place for Hate District, we honor and celebrate student diversity within MBUSD schools. As Dr. Gerger stated, we vehemently condemn hate and racial intolerance. We remain committed to fostering acceptance and belonging for everyone in our community. It takes all of us to prevent, respond to, and combat hate."

The incident is yet another in a string of antisemitic graffiti and hate messages found at Mira Costa High School and other Manhattan Beach schools. In February 2023, a hate symbol was found in a Mira Costa bathroom and in 2022, the Manhattan Beach Police Department tallied 10 separate hate crimes, including nine reported incidents of hate graffiti in Manhattan Beach schools.

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