Senior Chalk Day ruined by vandals

Racist and obscene language, graphic pictures form admin to remove all illustrations


Brian Barr

Many students created illustrations like this one for Senior Chalk Day on Aug. 9, while others decided to include racist and obscene language and inappropriate images. As a result, administrators had to get rid of all chalk illustrations before the first day of school.

Shiphrah Moses, Managing Editor

Graffiti consisting of racist and vulgar language and graphic illustrations were found on Senior Chalk Day last month.

Because of the incident on Aug. 9, all chalk decorations created by the students were removed before the first day of school. Senior Chalk Day is a time-honored tradition at Cal High where seniors decorate their own parking spots with chalk illustrations.

Principal Megan Keefer explained at a Parent Teacher Student Association meeting on Aug. 16 that all artwork had to be removed as opposed to specific parts because much of the graffiti overlapped other students’ artwork that was school-appropriate. This also made it difficult to find the students who made the graffiti. 

According to Keefer, the imagery included drawings of penises, comments about Black Lives Matter, and “aggressive sexual innuendo”. She said there were no nooses, swastikas, or threats against students.

Students who attended the event and created their own chalk art were disappointed by their peers ruining all their hard work. 

“I was pretty upset when I found out someone did all that,” senior Merritt Kraft said. “It was frustrating because they weren’t thinking about how it could affect everyone.”

Added senior Devin Addiego, “Honestly I was really frustrated, mostly for the people that dedicated much more time than I did to create a parking space. It’s just sad seeing something a lot of us enjoyed get ruined by others.”

In a letter sent out to the Cal High community, Keefer expressed her feelings about  the situation.

“On behalf of the entire California High School Admin and staff, we want to express our deep frustration and profound disappointment that we are dealing with this before our school year has officially begun,” wrote Keefer.

The letter went on to speak about the school’s commitment to promptly relaying such incidents to the community and being more transparent about them. 

This comes after the school notified the community of an incident in which about 100 stickers were plastered around campus with racist, anti-semitic, and transphobic messaging more than a month after they were discovered last spring.

More racist messaging was found accompanying a shooting threat in 2019 when such graffiti was discovered in the boy’s bathroom stall of the fine arts building. This was one of the first incidents the current senior class experienced as freshmen. 

Given Cal High’s history with similar incidents, some students were not fazed by what happened during Senior Chalk Day.

“I unfortunately wasn’t surprised when I heard of this, and I was generally disappointed,” Addiego said.

Offers were made by school administrators for a later event in which seniors could create their chalk decorations on campus. A survey given to the senior class, however, showed that students were not interested and wanted to move on, Keefer said at the Aug. 16 PTSA meeting.