Slurs painted on Ellicott City school Incident of racist graffiti latest of several in Howard

February 09, 1997|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Vandals spray painted racial and anti-Semitic slurs on the outside walls and grounds of Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City, an incident similar to ones that occurred at other county schools each of the past four weeks.

"There have been a continuing series of these things," said Lt. Larry Knudson, patrol watch commander for Howard County police.

In addition to the Mount Hebron incident, vandals have spray painted swastikas, provocative language and racial slurs on doors, walls and windows of Worthington Elementary and Ellicott City Middle on separate occasions, and at Howard High School once.

Yesterday morning, janitors at Mount Hebron were scrubbing the school's walls and doors.

Adrian Kaufman, Mount Hebron's principal, said, "It could be a group of kids going around to different schools and spray painting these things."

Pam Goss, president of the Mount Hebron PTA, said she was shocked that slurs would be painted on a school that she said has a small minority population -- about 12 percent Korean, 8 percent African-American and an even smaller percentage of Hispanics.

"Our Korean population is larger than our black population," she said. "I have never gotten the feeling that there were racial tensions at the school. Everything had been going pretty smoothly this year."

In October, Howard County police charged a 14-year-old Mount Airy boy with spraying a racial slur on the entrance sign at River Hill High School. The racial slur was spray painted on the 6-foot-tall, blue-and-yellow sign Aug. 31. The boy was charged with one count of destruction of property and violation of the racial and religious sections of state law.

The school system reported 538 vandalism incidents, including 86 cases of graffiti, during the 1994-95 school year, with repairs -- costing $61,641.

Pub Date: 2/09/97

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