Racist Graffiti Found Outside Of Black Teacher's Classroom

Photo: Getty Images

An elementary teacher in California was targeted with racist graffiti outside of her classroom.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, the N-word was scribbled outside the classroom of Nikki Shannon Smith, the only Black teacher at Korematsu Elementary School in Northern California.

Davis Joint Unified School District superintendent Matt Best addressed the incident in an email to parents last week.

“This targeted act of hate has caused fear and anxiety, especially among teachers, staff, and students of color. We are saddened and outraged by this senseless, racist act; hate has no place in DJUSD, or anywhere in our community,” Best wrote. “Due to the direct targeting of Black students, staff, and community members, and in recognition of an increased need for prompt streamlined and appropriate responses, DJUSD is developing a hate incident and vandalism protocol that will be used consistently across all sites and departments to ensure we are responding to each event sufficiently and in ways that respect the unique experiences and needs of those who are most affected."

Smith accused the district of mishandling communication regarding the vandalism. The elementary teacher said she was notified of the graffiti in an "all staff" email hours after officials made the discovery.

“I am the only Black teacher at my school,” Smith said. “So there is no room for doubt. I was not informed that I had been targeted, and had I not asked, I would still not know.”

Smith said she was relieved from her classroom and given permission to go home in the wake of the incident. However, before she left, Smith allegedly had to "explain" that the way officials handled the situation was “unacceptable.”

“I had to explain that it was discriminatory that when there are attacks on any group but Black people, the messaging is specific, condemns that specific form of hatred, stands with that specific community, and offers support to those in need,” Smith said. “I am done explaining. I am done protecting a district that does not protect me. To anyone wanting to show support … This is not the first time they have failed to protect me against racism."

The district is reportedly working with the Davis Police Department on an investigation into the incident.

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