HELENA - The Helena Police Department and the Helena School District are investigating racist graffiti that happened at Capital High School last week.
On Thursday morning, school staff arrived to find a set of doors at the building spray painted “2020 BLDM” and the word ‘don’t” in parenthesis below.
Authorities believe the language is meant to be interpreted as “Black lives don’t matter.”
The school district sent a letter to parents from Superintendent Tyler Ream and CHS Principal Brett Zanto addressing the situation.
The letter read: “While under investigation, please know that Capital High does not stand for and will not tolerate any act of racism. Any statements associated with hatred do not represent our school, our school district, and our Helena community….Capital High School and our Helena community must continue to strive to be a representation of equity, equality, and justice for all. Each day, we are inspired and motivated by all who continue to build towards a better future and any acts to the contrary are unacceptable in every regard.”
The school district says at this point the situation is an open, active police investigation and they’re working closely with law enforcement to assist in any way they can.
Police Chief Steve Hagen said the department is taking the mater very seriously. Anyone with additional information about the situation is asked to contact School Resource Officer Andrew Barton or alternatively can contact Helena Crime Stoppers and may be eligible for a potential reward.
Hagen says they're looking for five individuals. Those individuals may face felony charges due to the damage done to the property.
School officials removed the graffiti immediately once it was found, and Ream says there have been no other incidents similar to the recent graffiti on school property in the past year to his knowledge.
Helena does not have a formal graffiti removal program. On Wednesday the City of Helena will be hearing proposals to address graffiti removal in the city at their administrative meeting.