‘Build the Wall,’ racist website graffiti discovered near Summit Middle School
October 25, 2018
Racist and nationalist graffiti was discovered near School Road in Frisco Thursday morning, along with a report of similar graffiti found near the Starbucks in Silverthorne. The incidents may be part of a disturbing pattern of hate speech-related graffiti in Summit County this week following Sunday's discovery of swastikas and SS bolts over campaign signs promoting Democratic candidate Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.
The most prominent piece of graffiti, spelling out "Build the Wall" in pink chalk, was found at around 9 a.m. on a dark rock on the north side of School Road, just down the road from Summit Middle School/Snowy Peaks and near the intersection with Highway 9. The rock is on Frisco town property and the graffiti was clearly visible to students and parents exiting the schools.
On the sidewalk next to the rock, a website address to a racist, white nationalist website denigrating African-Americans was spelled out in red lettering. The Summit Daily has decided not to publish the name of the site or a photo of that graffiti to avoid giving the site attention.
After the school district reported it to town police, the graffiti was scrubbed off by a Frisco police officer at around 11 a.m. That same officer also reported seeing similar graffiti outside the Starbucks in Silverthorne; however Silverthorne police chief John Minor said that such graffiti had not been reported to his department as of Thursday afternoon.
School superintendent Kerry Buhler sent a letter to parents later in the morning addressing the graffiti.
"Hate does not belong in Summit School District or in this community, and we are disturbed by the message left for students and staff to see on the way into school today," Buhler wrote. "We are committed to fostering school climates where all students feel welcomed, respected and included."
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Frisco police chief Tom Wickman said that his department is investigating the event, but there is no more information available about possible suspects, charges or motivation at this time.
"We need to be more unified," Wickman said. "These acts create more divisiveness, and I think that's wrong."
The graffiti appeared several days after signs supporting Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons' bid for re-election were vandalized in Breckenridge. Five yard signs and a poster supporting FitzSimons were spray painted with swastikas and SS bolts.
While it is not clear whether that incident is related to the graffiti near the schools, it does appear that the ugliness of racism and nationalist politics has crept into the High Country.
Authorities urge anyone with information about the graffiti to contact their local police department. The school district has asked students, parents or other community members with any information about the graffiti to dial the state's Safe2Tell hotline, 1-877-542-7233, and make a report, anonymously and safely.
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