North Okanagan elementary schools targeted with anti-mask graffiti | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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North Okanagan elementary schools targeted with anti-mask graffiti

Graffiti on J.W. Inglis Elementary in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Deidre Underwood

Five North Okanagan elementary schools have been targeted with anti-mask graffiti.

Parents, staff and pupils discovered the graffiti daubed on the schools during the morning of Oct. 25.

The words, "Masking kids is child abuse... rise up" were written on J.W. Inglis Elementary in Lumby.

School district No. 22 Vernon, superintendent Christine Perkins told the same message had been written on the other schools.

Superintendent Perkins described the vandalism as "a very cowardly act" saying she was "grossly disappointed" by the graffiti.

"The students are upset, that's their safe place, and we need to be respectful of those buildings," Perkins said. "It's hurtful to kids to arrive at school and see that kind of thing written on their school, it's just mean."

Perkins said the schools affected were Ellison Elementary, Kidston Elementary, Coldstream Elementary, Lavington Elementary and J.W. Inglis Elementary in Lumby.

Deidre Underwood spotted the graffiti while dropping her children off at J.W. Inglish Elementary in Lumby this morning.

"How are parents going to explain why this happened to their kids?" Underwood asked. "It serves no purpose and just causes our kids who already have a lot going on this year more stress and upset that is unnecessary."

Perkins said it's estimated the clean-up cost will be around $4,000.

The superintendent said a school surveillance camera had captured a male spraying graffiti on one of the schools and the footage had been turned over to the RCMP.

Perkins said there had been no issues since the mask mandate was introduced for pupils from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

"The whole of society is wearing them right now... to protect each other," she added.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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