Police are investigating racist, homophobic and transphobic messages spray-painted in the parking lot of a local school.
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says that at approximately 7 a.m. Monday, deputies responded to the FlexTech High School campus in Genoa Township, for a destruction of property and arson complaint.
Employees of the school reported to work at approximately 4:15 a.m. Monday and located multiple instances of damage from spray paint on the parking lot and nearby structures.
“Upon arrival Deputies also discovered that the suspect(s) spray painted hateful messages and symbols onto the parking lot and structures at the school and also found other instances of malicious damage,” stated a press release.
Pictures and video from the scene show the phrase “LGBT = “ and then a swastika spray-painted on the lot. The phrase “Fuck Pride” was also featured several times along with “2 Genders,” “End Abortion” and “LGBTQ+ is a Cult”.
A statement from the school said that security cameras show two individuals arriving in the parking lot around 3:30 a.m.
“These two individuals painted the slogans, moving around the parking lot and ended their hate-filled depravity with the burning of a pride flag in the middle of the parking lot,” said the statement. “We, the FlexTech staff, stand with you against this hate. As you know, everyone at FlexTech works to create a welcoming, supportive and affirming atmosphere which leads to an inclusive culture. Whether this was a member of the FlexTech community or someone else, I am confident we will find out. Anyone having any information about this act of hate can contact any FlexTech staff member or the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department. Students and staff are working on our next steps in denouncing this hate. CS Partners will have a company out to cover the messages within the next couple of days.”
In response, the Livingston County Diversity Council released the following statement;
“The Livingston Diversity Council condemns the actions of the individuals who vandalized with hate speech the parking lot at FlexTech High School and committed an act of arson on the premises,” said Executive Director Nicole Matthews-Creech. “Our schools should be a place where students feel safe and able to be their authentic selves. FlexTech has worked consistently to create a supportive and inclusive culture and the community must uphold these ideals. We stand with Flex Tech, their staff and students and expect that our local authorities will handle this incident expeditiously with the diligence and respect that it requires.”
Also commenting is 7th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing).
“This is not how our students should be starting a new school year,” she tweeted. “This sort of hateful rhetoric has become all too common & now it’s spray painted across a local school parking lot. I spoke with Dr. Hope today to offer my support. I am urging local authorities to take this seriously and send a strong signal that this hateful vandalism has no place in our communities.”
The sheriff’s office says the incident remains open and under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office at 517-546-2440.