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Sunday, September 27, 2020

BRIEF: Graffiti in women’s restroom

A “disturbing” message was found in the women’s restroom located at the Music Department Building at Pierce College on March 27 at 11 a.m. causing a heightened state of security on campus following the discovery of the graffiti.

The writing found is not a threat to the campus, however, nature of the message has not been released, according to Deputy Sheriff Lazaro Sanchez. All classes will remain in session, but sheriff’s will continue to search for potential leads.

“The president met with the members of the Sheriff’s Department and determined that nothing rose to the level of a credible threat,” said Doreen Clay, the public relations manager.

The restroom under investigation is being searched for evidence and is currently closed by the Sheriff’s Department and administration.

The remaining restrooms in the Performing Arts Building are still accessible for faculty and students.

Wendy Mazon, an instructor of music, hopes more information can be found soon regarding the situation.

“As instructors, it’s important that we make sure we can look out for students especially if there’s some special situation going on we know about like the nature of the graffiti,” Mazon said.

Mazon said she did not know this happened so close to her classroom.

“I’m not sure when they found out about it,” Mazon said. “I got a phone call by the campus and it was like at 12:35 p.m. and the graffiti was found at 11 o’clock. I was literally 10 feet away from the incident and I had no idea what was going on.”

The story will be updated when there’s more information available.

*UPDATE: “The graffiti consisted of imagery and words that were anti-Semitic and xenophobic,” according to an email sent from Interim President Larry Buckley. “The Sheriff’s Department determined the offending graffiti was meant to be malicious and intimidating, but did not reflect an imminent threat to public safety.”

Buckley denounced the hateful messaging found on campus.

“Those who would use hateful imagery or speech in an effort to intimidate, threaten, or marginalize others, are not contributing to freedom of expression,” Buckley writes.

Buckley references the recent rise in reported hate speech around California colleges, and calls for the community to report suspicious activity and graffiti to the sheriffs.

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