Muscatine, IA (KWQC) Muscatine police are investigating after racial slurs were spray-painted on McKinley Elementary School over the holiday weekend. The school was marred by derogatory words pertaining to the gay community and black people. The spray paint covered walls, windows and even playground equipment. Educators at McKinley say they were at a loss for words when they first heard about what happen to their school.
For school administrator Lori Shield, the derogatory words written on the side of the school were heartbreaking.
“What goes through my head is, how can anyone be that hateful.” said Shield, who’s been with the school for 11 years. “Especially at a school, where we’re teaching innocence and pride and respect.”
Shield says even though the words are gone now, the reality that the kids were exposed to hatred is what hurts the most.
“Very emotional, when I came around the building and saw the wording it hurt me a great deal, this building and the people in it are my family,” said Shields.
Principle of McKinley elementary, Joelle McConnaha says her school prides itself on diversity, but explaining the situation to the kids was the toughest part.
“The kids were extremely disappointed,” McConnaha said.”Very sad about it and you know not all of them had seen what the words were and some of them knew, and so again it just, that’s not our school.”
But she’s using this incident as a teaching lesson
“I think it’s an opportunity to learn from each other, we share a lot about what makes us alike, what makes us different and we celebrate differences as much as what we have a like,” McConnaha added.
Faculty and staff also say they want their kids to know this act of vandalism won’t change their love for their kids.
“We can make a change, and show these people that no it’s not okay, but we don’t feel that way and we’re not going to let it happen.” Lori Shields
Superintendent Jerry Riibe, tells TV-6 that he is working closely with the Muscatine Police Department to find who may have done this to their elementary school, so far they have no leads.