Parents and students showed support for their community on Friday after racist graffiti was found at a South Boston elementary school earlier this week.
Hateful and violent messages were written on several areas of Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School on Wednesday. A custodial staff member discovered the vandalism, which is now under investigation by the Boston Police Department’s Civil Rights Unit.
Dressed in raincoats and protected by the weather with umbrellas, the crowd on Friday said they were there to send a message of inclusion and unity.
“It’s really a stand for inclusion and really try to create a cultural change in South Boston,” said Michael Dowling, a community activist.
Mayor Marty Walsh was one of the faces in the crowd.
"Racism and threats of this nature will not be tolerated in our schools or in the City of Boston,” Walsh said in a statement after the graffiti was discovered. “To whoever wrote this message, you should be ashamed for spreading this message of hate where our young people go to learn. Boston is a place that is welcoming and inclusive of all."
A group of community members held colorful signs that read, “We Stand for Opportunity,” “We Stand for Community,” “We Are South Boston” and other peaceful messages.
Boston Public Schools condemned the racist vandalism in a statement:
"Incidents like this are in no way reflective of the safe, secure and supportive environment that the Boston Public Schools are committed to fostering, nor the values embodies by our students, staff and families, each of whom are valued members of our community."
The school immediately addressed the issue with students, and now an investigation into who did this is ongoing.