Racist, homophobic graffiti discovered on Monte Vista school bus

Principal: 'Consequences for students responsible for these actions are severe'

Even with San Ramon Valley schools now on Thanksgiving break, the recent string of racially charged and hurtful graffiti continues.

Monte Vista High School officials announced Monday that racist and homophobic graffiti was found over the weekend on a TRAFFIX bus that serves the northeast Danville campus.

That marks two racist graffiti incidents related to Monte Vista in the past week, and the sixth such incident in district high schools in just over a month.

"The consequences for students responsible for these actions are severe," Monte Vista principal Kevin Ahern said in an email to the school community Monday afternoon.

"Consequences for engaging in behavior that infringes on the rights of other students, including, but not limited to hate speech or violence may, carry severe consequences including suspension and possibly expulsion from the SRVUSD," he added.

Ahern's three-paragraph message also reflected on the all-school assembly last Thursday that took place the day after racist graffiti was found in a boys' bathroom on campus.

Monte Vista teachers talked about their personal experiences with discrimination and 100 students got up to speak as well during the assembly.

"As we saw last week from the incredible outpouring of support from our students, staff and parents, we are a unified school community that stands against hate speech and all forms of harassment and intimidation," Ahern said. "We heard loud and clear from Monte Vista's students, faculty and community that they do not want their school to be defined by these incidents."

Police and school officials continue to investigate the incident that occurred on the Monte Vista campus last Wednesday, with results still pending, according to school district spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich.

Ahern said Danville police have started their investigation into the school bus graffiti, and school officials will begin their inquiry when Monte Vista reopens next Monday. Local schools are closed all week for the Thanksgiving break.

"At this time, we are still investigating details of the incident and examining leads. Because this is an active investigation, we cannot release the specifics of the incident at this time," the principal said.

Ahern reiterated that incidents of hate speech and violence are referred to law enforcement for potential criminal charges where appropriate, and he encouraged students with information on both Monte Vista incidents to step forward and speak out.

"If students are aware of others thinking about engaging in negative behavior, they should discourage the action and report it to any staff member," he said. "The overwhelming majority of our students will make the right decision because it is the right thing to do."

"We will continue to work with our staff, local law enforcement and SRVUSD administration to ensure a safe environment for all our students, Ahern added.

For San Ramon Valley schools, the bus vandalism marked the fourth racist graffiti incident in less than a week.

Racist graffiti was found in bathrooms at San Ramon's California High School on Thursday and Friday, prompting school officials and about 100 parents to meet and discuss the situations Friday evening.

Cal High faced two other racist graffiti incidents late last month, both involving slurs targeting African-Americans written on bathroom walls -- one in a boys' restroom Oct. 19 and the other in a girls' restroom Oct. 24.

A Cal High student admitted responsibility for the first incident, while the investigations into the other five incidents in the district remain ongoing, Graswich said.

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29 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Danville
on Nov 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Can we just give it a rest. Yes, it is wrong. But does the district need to contact the media every time a 15 year old does something immature and wrong? This is comparable to toilet papering a house or doorbell ditching in the mind of these kids. Feel free to disagree, but I think it is the adults who are acting like the "snowflakes" in this situation.

11 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Nov 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

( removed because it contained unverified inflammatory information )

17 people like this
Posted by Robin
a resident of Danville
on Nov 22, 2016 at 7:16 am

Sweeping this under the rug, hushing it up, keeping quiet about it will NOT solve the problem. The person(s) responsible for these racial slurs are wrong. All of our students, in fact, all those who live and work in this valley should feel outraged that there are those among us who are teaching racism. Yes "teaching". If this is a student, they are learning it from someone and it is likely their family. It saddens and angers me that there are people in this valley who would think such a thing let alone act upon it. Telling us to "give it a rest" is as bad as the act itself as you are part of the problem if you do not speak up and condemn these acts as the evil they are. The media's job is the keep the people informed ... that's why we have "freedom of the press".

4 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 22, 2016 at 11:29 am

SHale is a registered user.

You know if the publisher required all users to register and LOCKED screen names, there would be far less troll comments.


6 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Nov 22, 2016 at 12:28 pm

American, if you don't have children who are students at the school, and have friends who are parents of students at the school, and aren't in the loop about what goes on at the school, you do not know what goes on at the school. So, tell me, have you had your children called the "N-word" at school? I doubt it.

BTW, the locker room incident did occur. And it is far from the only time that the "N-word" has been used on campus.

So, it is not surprising that we should see graffiti of the same nature appear on campus. But, we should still be outraged and work to change such views and behavior.

I suppose it is convenient for you to label any attempt by others to point out examples of how we could do better as a community as "Anti-Danville." Again, the "ostrich effect" -- just turn a blind eye to bad behavior and prejudices. Or get defensive about it.

The more mature approach is to point it out, confront it, discuss it, and improve on it.....Unless you really don't want the situation to change, or just don't care about it.

6 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Sam is a registered user.

Dave and Robin, thank you for speaking out and for the information about the quarter back.

I have heard from Monte Vista students before the election that racism was already a problem there.

The BSU President at Cal High has spoken out about racist incidents and not feeling safe on campus. The only black teacher there was subject to racism from a student and racist comments are going unchallenged by teachers during class.

I suspect that those who don't want this reported on by the media are truly scared about what might be uncovered beyond the graffiti.

Like this comment
Posted by mathmom
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Dec 1, 2016 at 5:52 am

mathmom is a registered user.

Alarmed by Resident3's comment, and the 27 likes for it. Tagging racial slurs is NOT the same as t.p.-ing a house! If it's "the same in the minds of these kids" then, their parents are failing. Staying silent does not help anyone. Students who have absorbed the idea that it's ok to use and advertise derogatory terms deserve a chance to learn that it's not acceptable behavior. Students who are the targets of this type of bullying, or, any type of bullying, deserve adults who will speak up and say, "that is not how civil human beings treat one another".

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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