Anti-cop graffiti found outside auditorium

Graffiti containing the phrase “No Cops at Whitman” was found on the exterior wall of the auditorium yesterday morning, wrote Principal Robert Dodd in a letter to the community.

Whitman’s building services team covered up the graffiti before the start of the school day, and MCPS maintenance employees plan to permanently remove the writing as soon as possible, Dodd wrote.

The administration has involved the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) in an active investigation to identify the perpetrator.

Intern Principal Gregory Miller reiterated the administration’s stance against graffiti and his appreciation for the school’s  partnership with MCPD.

“It’s important that we have a relationship within MCPD because they have knowledge and understanding on a wide range of things,” Miller said. “I think we need to continue to have those open lines of communication to keep our students safe.”

The message yesterday follows a series of incidents of vandalism on campus, including antisemitic graffiti last December. The administration is working to create a more inclusive environment at school and prevent such acts in the future, Miller said.

Junior Rihanna Arouna believes initiatives like OneWhitman and the Student Government Association (SGA) can help uplift student voices and end the ongoing incidents of vandalism.

“In order to prevent graffiti, Whitman should provide better and easier ways of expressing opinions and facilitating conversations between administrators and students so that someone doesn’t feel as if they have to resort to defacing school property to get their points across,” Arouna said.

Although some students agree with the graffiti’s sentiment, they would like to see the issue addressed more respectfully. Junior Max Freeman believes students should take advantage of existing opportunities to express their opinions lawfully.

“I don’t think that cops should be stationed at Whitman, but I also believe we need to be constructive in how we approach the issues,” Freeman said. “We need to lobby our legislators, vote for county council members and school board members who will advocate for our positions and make sure people our age are registered to vote.”

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