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Parents alarmed after racial messages appear at Arbor View High School

Posted at 6:49 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 02:28:47-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Racial graffiti and images at an area high school are raising the alarm from parents. They say it promotes an unsafe environment at Arbor View High School.

A picture taken at the high school is shown with language appearing to target African American students. The words were found written in chalk in the girls' bathroom on Wednesday. The image has since been spread on social media and shocking parents.

"I just think it's astounding and this time and day in age that we're still going through this," Nicole Blanchard, guardian of a student, said.

Blanchard says seeing these images with racial slurs is unsettling.

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"It's kind of scary when you don't feel that safe at school to learn, to achieve, you're consistently being hit with racists components that have nothing to do with you," she said.

A week prior, an image was airdropped into phones of a few students about "Finding Nemo" - with an image appearing to target black students.

Principal Kevin McPartlin reported in a letter to parents that an investigation has been launched, and appropriate action would be taken against those responsible.

McPartlin wrote:

"Arbor View is dedicated to inclusion as the foundation of emotional, social, and academic growth and support of all individuals. Our school community is inclusive of all races, ethnicity, cultures, religions/beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, socioeconomic statuses, abilities, and living arrangements."

However, Blanchard says students need to be more aware of racial sensitivities and says more can be done.

"Unfortunately, I think a lot of this has to do with people not covering our history. I think kids need to have more history on how the country began and how each one of us contributed to society," she said.

Another parent, J'Shauntae Marshall, also told 13 Action News that seeing similar images like these during the past two weeks is disturbing.

"There has been very little accountability for the demonstration of racism in this school as it stands today,' Marshall said.

Her child was one of the students that were targeted by threats at the school back in March, where two students were arrested and sentenced to nine months at Spring Mountain Youth Camp.

RELATED: Additional student cited after threats made against Arbor View High School students

Now, Marshall is part of the advocacy group "No Racism in Schools #1865", and says the school needs to improve its accountability.

"The teachers are not holding the students accountable to the boundaries that are in place,' she said.

In a letter to parents sent Thursday, Superintendent Jesus Jara and School Board Trustee Chris Garvey, wanted to reassure them in releasing the following statement:

"We want the community to know that these actions will not be tolerated and CCSD will continue to work to provide an inclusive learning community for all students. We ask the community in joining us to condemn these actions."

Marshall says she and other group members will also be at the high school next week working with administrators to get onboard with stamping out racism.

"We will be moving to get an intervention into the school as soon as possible and within the next week so that the teachers that don't feel they received the proper training will get that training,' Marshall said.

Clark County School District police confirmed an investigation into the incidents is underway, as they work to figure out who's behind them.