Denver police investigating after racist graffiti found on elementary school playground

DENVER -- The Denver Police Department is investigating after racist graffiti was found on an elementary school playground.

The vandalism occurred over the weekend at the playground behind the Joe Shoemaker School in southeast Denver.

In a letter to families, Principal Christine Fleming said the school immediately took actions to cover the graffiti. The school also contacted DPD and the Denver Public Schools Department of Safety.

"We condemn this act of hate speech," Fleming said in the letter.

Fleming said some students who are part of a YMCA summer program might have seen the graffiti. YMCA staff immediately got the young people away from the playground after seeing the messages.

"Members of the DPS crisis team are available to assist students in coping with their feelings and concerns. Crisis team members are DPS school psychologists and social workers from around the district. We also will have members of the Employee Assistance Program available to assist our educators in coping with their feelings and concerns," Fleming said.

Fleming did not say exactly what was written on the playground. She said the safety and well-being of students and staff is the school's top priority.

"Our school is and will continue to be a place where all students, families and educators feel valued, are respected and know that they belong here at Joe
Shoemaker School," Fleming said.

DPD's Bias-Motivated Investigative Unit is working on the case.

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