Vandals in Davis hit junior high school grounds with hate-filled graffiti. They defaced windows, school walls and even student artwork displayed outside Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Blotches of paint now cover the outer walls at the school, shielding the graffiti -- the worst of which, according to police, featured a swastika drawn over the face of a student-made mural featuring Martin Luther King Jr.
"We all know that graffiti costs a lot of money [to fix],” Davis Police Lt. Ton Phan said. Phan says damages costing more than $950, which is the case in this instance, warrant a felony charge.
"The more serious side of this is because it's a swastika, that's what concerns us, because it's now considered a level that we consider a hate crime,” Phan said.
School officials notified police Friday morning about the swastika. Police are still looking for leads.
School officials and police tell FOX40 the graffiti has already been cleaned up. But that doesn't mean it hasn't left a mark on this community.
"When you have a situation where you have a symbol of this nature, it's something that touches people's emotions, and it's something that we take very seriously," said Maria Clayton, spokesperson for the Davis Joint Unified School District.
Clayton said even though school has been out for weeks, the district's first concern is its students.
"A school district is a place of inclusion, and that's not something we tolerate,” Clayton said.
She said they'll continue working to make sure these instances of hate have no place to catch on in their schools.
Davis police are looking for the public’s help. If you have any information about these crimes, police ask that you call (530) 747-5400.