Chesterfield, MO – The culprit responsible for writing racist graffiti in multiple Parkway Central High School bathrooms last week is a black student who has allegedly confessed to the string of vandalisms, according to the school district.
The messages included a statement wishing for the deaths of black people, as well as another featuring a racial slur, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“White Lives Matter [expletive]” was scrawled across a bathroom mirror, photos revealed by KTVI showed.
The messages sparked outrage among students when they were first discovered, leading to a massive walk-out on Sept. 22, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Students yelled and cursed at school administrators and others broke down into tears, according to the paper.
They passed around a megaphone while standing outside the administrative building and shared stories about their experiences with racism at the school, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“We just absorb it, most of us,” Senior Ronald Griffin told the paper. “There’s a ton of people that act friendly, but then you hear about things people have said…off to the side.”
“It’s messed up, and it’s not funny,” Senior Joe Siervo added. “We want to see a change…but this happens every year.”
The school district assured students and parents that a police investigation was underway.
“Students and staff are hurt, angry and feeling outnumbered by those who seem willing to stand by and watch without taking action to stop it,” Parkway Superintendent Keith Marty said in a letter to parents on Sept. 23.
Hundreds of students walked out of Parkway Central HS in chesterfield this morning after racist graffiti was found in a bathroom. They’re demanding a Black students union pic.twitter.com/cNji0EaIxe
— Sophie Hurwitz (@sophiehurwitz) September 23, 2021
When it came to light it was a black student who plastered the racist graffiti in the bathrooms, Marty sent out another letter telling staff, students, and parents that the suspect’s race “does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact is has on our entire community,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“We cannot presume the reasons a student would do this and it will be important to understand why this happened as we move forward,” the superintendent noted.
He said the student will face “severe disciplinary consequences” from the school district.
Senior Brittannee Jackson said it was “embarrassing” to discover the perpetrator was a black student, but argued it had nothing to do with the protesters’ message, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Marty said the demonstration was a “clear indication that more work is needed to ensure our school cultures and communities are safe for each student regardless of their race,” according to the paper.
Proud to speak at Parkway Central High School today. These young people are fed up and showing amazing leadership. They are the future! Let's go!!! pic.twitter.com/bdYLMTP7yY
— Spencer Toder for Senate (@SpencerToder) September 23, 2021
“I want to tell the thousands of students who participated on behalf of themselves and their fellow classmates: I am proud of you for supporting one another and we heard you loud and clear,” he added.
Parkway District Schools Spokeswoman Cathy Kelly noted that racist graffiti was also discovered at a second school, but school officials do not believe that vandalism is connected to the ones at Parkway Central, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A similar incident occurred in 2017, when a nonwhite student confessed to having written a racial slur and “white lives matter” inside a bathroom at Parkway Central.