Administration investigating vandalism found in boys’ bathroom last weekend

PHOTO+BY+ANNA+MINTON

PHOTO BY ANNA MINTON

Anna Minton

BY ANNA MINTON (’17)

The school administration and the police are on alert after discovering vandalism in a boys’ bathroom stall at the high school over the weekend.

According to high school principal Mr. Durst, the threats written on the bathroom wall are synonymous with a hate crime.

“The vandalism in the stall contained a general threat towards a small number of students,” said Durst. “That’s probably the best way to say it.”

According to the FBI website, a hate crime is defined as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

“Like I said on the PA,  when you make statements like that against a specific group of people, based on something like gender identity, or race, or ethnicity, or religion, that’s a really clear definition of a hate crime,” said Durst. “So that’s why we wanted to treat it with the utmost seriousness, because those are very serious words to be putting on the bathroom stall.”

Durst stated that while Granville is still a nonviolent area, people should be taking the vandalism very seriously.

“We’re fortunate that we live in a safe community, so we don’t have some concerns that other schools have with safety,” Durst said. “But, again, going back to what was written, when those types of things show up, you need to address them as if they’re 100% serious.”

Durst met with the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) after school during an emergency meeting held on Monday to discuss some of the implications of the hate crime.

“They had some general questions about the situation, and about a response that they would like to make,” Durst said. “We talked a bit about hate crimes and how to define them, and we talked about the student’s response to date.”

Durst is very pleased about the school’s reaction to the vandalism.

“I think the whole student body response has been good,” said Durst. “I’ve heard a lot of people who are really upset with what was written, and are very much taking a stance against what was written. What I told them [the GSA] yesterday was that if you’re going to script the response of the student body, that’s what you script. You want people to learn about this, and be upset that it happened.”

While Durst is pleased with the student body response, he is still concerned about the person responsible for the act.

“It displays a number of things. It displays immaturity, it displays a lack of tolerance… we’ve got a whole list that we can go through. To me, it’s always comforting to hear from students that they’re not okay with that, because that’s the response that you want.”