Students at a Washington high school were dismayed to find that their public Pride display had been defaced with pro-Trump graffiti earlier this month.
Every year, seniors at Highline High School outside of Seattle get to paint a message on the school’s “spirit rock” to commemorate their graduating class. This year, the graduates dedicated their display to the LGBT community complete with a bold rainbow and the words “Pride” and “Love Wins.”
Their inclusive message didn’t last for long, though, as vandals covered up the bright rainbow with the colors of the American flag and the word “Trump” just days later.
Highline students were allegedly alerted to the defacement via a Snapchat photo, which showed the two rocks side by side along with the caption “Fixed It.”
Welcome to Highline Highschool: (PT2) Not ONLY is this place not safe for students of color but the LGBTQ community as well. pic.twitter.com/2eAtz5gVjB
— mara. (@jahmara_143) June 8, 2017
The image was shared online by Jahmara Coleman, an outspoken Highline student who led her peers in a walkout protest over the issue last Friday and was kicked out of a recent student assembly for speaking out against the school’s culture of inequality.
“What’s been going on all year long is COMPLETELY wrong and unfair on countless levels,” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to everyone who participated in the walk out today and thank you for supporting me while I ’crashed’ our assembly.”
After sharing the image and encouraging her fellow students to protest the graffiti, Coleman anonymously received screenshots of the alleged Facebook chat the vandals used to discuss defacing the Pride display. One of these users went as far as to write “death to Jahmara.”
The young activist posted the screengrabs to her Facebook along with the simple message: “When I find out who this is. On god no one is going to have a future I promise you.”
This isn’t the first time Coleman’s called out the school for discriminatory graffiti. Earlier this year, vandals tagged the campus with the phrase “White Power” and a swastika.
For their part, the school responded to the anti-LGBT message by inviting parents to a Thursday meeting to discuss next steps.
“I think we are open to whatever solutions are out there,” Highline School District spokesperson Catherine Carbone Rogers told Fox Q13. “We know that it’s going to involve training for staff around how to sensitively guide students through issues of freedom of speech and acceptance and tolerance of embracing people who have different opinions.”
A separate letter sent out to families added: “Next year, we will focus on learning to better accept and respect each other, regardless of our beliefs, backgrounds, identities, or political opinions. This is critical work for all of us—students, staff and families.”