STERLING, Va. (DC News Now) — A disturbing trend of hate has people of all faiths and backgrounds in Loudoun County concerned.
It’s been less than two weeks since a moving and emotional display of a community coming together to stand against hate — that happened when organizers, politicians, and more stood side-by-side at a vigil following hateful graffiti was written at the South Riding Town Center.
But the problem seems to remain.
DC News Now has learned through police reports there have already been eight incidents of hate-related graffiti in Loudoun County — just since the start of December. Four of which happened in county high schools.
The incidents have included antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ, and racist rhetoric:
- 12/14/2022 at 9:48 a.m. – Rutherford Cir/Christopher Ln., Sterling — The complainant reported observing a racial slur written on a railing of a public access bridge
- 12/13/2022 at 3:52 p.m. – 36000 block of Allder School Rd., Purcellville — A representative from Woodgrove High School reported that an antisemitic symbol was written in an area within the school.
- 12/08/2022 and 12/02/2022 – 21300 block Augusta Dr., Sterling — A representative for Dominion High School reported on December 8, that an anti-Semitic symbol was written in marker in a bathroom on December 2. The school also reported two additional symbols were carved into a desk on December 8.
- 12/08/2022 – 43300 block Hay Rd., Ashburn — The complainant reported graffiti on the paved path that contained a potentially racial slur
- 12/07/2022 – 36800 block Alder School Rd., Purcellville — The LCSO is investigating anti-Semitic writing that was found in a bathroom at Woodgrove High School yesterday. There is no place in our society for this type of hateful behavior, and the LCSO takes these reprehensible actions seriously.
The county’s sheriff, Mike Chapman, attended the unity vigil. On Friday, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told DC News Now it did not have any updates on the graffiti cases.
“I think it’s better to look into things early on rather than let it escalate,” said Julia Frederick, a preschool teacher who lives in Loudoun County. “I think even adults should show the way to our high schoolers and show them how we accept everyone.”
The sheriff’s office has previously said its working with school resource officers and its FBI Task Force member “to determine who is responsible” for the graffiti incident at South Riding.