Police, school search for racist graffiti culprit

Slurs written on statue at Muskegon High School stadium

Muskegon High School, Hackley Stadium
Racist graffiti on a statue of Charles H. Hackley outside Muskegon High School's Hackley Stadium. (Aug. 15, 2017)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Police and school officials are trying to figure out who wrote racist statements on a statue at Muskegon High School.

On Tuesday morning, band members discovered someone had defaced the Charles H. Hackley statue that sits outside Hackley Stadium on school grounds. The graffiti, which is being cleaned off, included the N-word, “go back to Africa” and “our country, not yours.”

Its discovery came two days after a noose was found hanging on a playground at an early childhood education center in Muskegon. Superintendent Justin Jennings said the district is taking the incidents seriously.

“The things happened on our properties, but they’re not necessarily connected to our students and it’s kind of an unfair situation not only for our students but also for our community for this to happen because we don’t have any idea where it’s coming from,” he told 24 Hour News 8.

Students will be walking back into the classroom in three weeks, so Jennings says the administration is working with teachers on how to address the hatred.

“We have talking points for the teachers to start the year off with this discussion to make sure the kids understand that it’s safe,” Jenniings said. “The positive thing to this, if you can find something, is now it’s going to force us to have that conversation that we’ve been not having for a long time.”

Jennings said the district is working with the Muskegon Police Department to review surveillance video in the area.

**Correction: A previous version of this article stated the graffiti was discovered one day after the noose was found at the playground. It was actually discovered two days after the noose. We regret the error.