From left to right: Joshua Shaffer, Tyler Curtiss, Seth Taylor and Matthew Lipp were charged with hate crimes after racist graffiti were found sprayed at Glenelg high School.
(Howard County Police Department)
Four Maryland teenagers were charged with hate crimes after racist graffiti, homophobic insults and swastikas were discovered painted on a high school campus.
The graffiti was found at Glenelg High School on Thursday morning just before the awards ceremony for seniors, the Baltimore Sun reported.
After an investigation, which included reviewing video surveillance, police arrested four senior students: Seth Taylor, 18, of Ellicott City; Tyler Curtiss, 18, of Brookeville; Joshua Shaffer, 18, Mt. Airy; and Matthew Lipp, 18, of Woodbine, FOX 5 DC reported.
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The four students face multiple counts of destruction of property, based on race, color, religious belief, sexual orientation or national origin,” officials told FOX 5 DC. Three of the students were taken into custody of the school and the other was arrested by the officials of his house.
“We will not allow this in Howard County,” Superintendent Michael J. Martirano told reporters at a press conference.
“We work hard every day to ensure that our children are safe and protected. No child, no employee, within our inclusive community should ever feel any form of threat or harassment, or any form of hate, ” he continued.
The incident was the first hate crime reported at a Howard County school this year.
After the graffiti was found, is the school’s principal David Burton spoke with students about the incident. Officials said some of the graffiti was directed at Burton.
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“What should be a joyful day, when parents and students come together to celebrate the senior class for the many achievements, they were instead faced with a terrible display of intolerance, the violation of their school,” Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said at the press conference.
He said that he had four children who have participated in the high school and his daughter was at that time working as a teacher at the institution.
“I know that the feelings in this terrible graffiti are very distressing for our residents. But we can’t let those who promote hatred destroy our important end of the year of the traditions and remind ourselves that this kind of intolerant behaviour is the work of a small number of hateful people,” Kittleman said in a statement. “They do not represent our shared beliefs as a community. They do not represent our shared values in Howard County. We will not tolerate it and will stand together in condemning this behavior.”