Students, Parents Concerned Over Racist Graffiti at California High School

Student confesses to one restroom incident while a second one is still being investigated

Students, parents and school officials are concerned after racist graffiti was found written in the restrooms at California High School in San Ramon, even as one of the incidents apparently was resolved Tuesday.

Police and school officials were investigating the incidents in which the N-word was used in the girls restroom and the words "whites" and "colored" were scribbled above separate stalls in the boys restroom on the campus.

On Tuesday, a student came forward and confessed to the boys restroom incident that occurred last week, according to school officials. It's still not clear who is behind the girls restroom incident, and it is still being investigated.

Cal High student Alanah Winston, 17, says although she has seen racism regularly, she had never felt it on campus - until Monday.

"I deal with racism on a daily basis as a kid of color, as a minority," said Winston, who is one of about 100 black students at the school of 1,200.

"And then just to see blatant hatred written there for you to see," she added, has stripped away that feeling of safety.

On Monday, when Winston saw the racist graffiti written in the girls bathroom, it made her extremely uncomfortable. When she went to ask school administrators to do something, she wasn’t happy with their response.

"I was somewhat dismissed," she said.

Elizabeth Graswich, spokeswoman for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, said the initial report of the graffiti in the boys restroom last week was taken very seriously. School officials began an investigation immediately. She said the only evidence found from the boys restroom graffiti were photos.

"It was a challenging one to investigate because it was shared via social media, with no indicators other than that they said it was at California High School," Graswich said.

After the second incident, an email alert was sent out to parents.

"Not OK, not tolerated in this area," said parent Jacqui Gerbracht. "So I am actually pretty shocked that that would be put in our bathrooms."

Student Cherag Keswani said the actions of one make the students and their school look bad.

"Because we don’t know who that one person is, and we are kind of ashamed because we feel like, you know, we are better than that, really," Keswani said.

Winston said she just wants a resolution.

"I just want action to be taken," she said. "I want this to be prevented."

Police and school officials said those found responsible for the graffiti could face criminal charges and expulsion from school. It had not yet been determined how the student who came forward Tuesday would be punished.

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