The surf-wax graffiti was discovered by staff at Loma Portal Elementary School at 3341 Browning St. when they arrived for work the morning of Oct. 31.
“It was two swastikas about eight inches square,” said Mark Morici, Loma Portal principal. “We contacted both the San Diego Unified School District police and the San Diego Police Department, and they were both there within 20 minutes and took pictures and started an investigation.”
Morici added however that, “There didn’t seem to be much to go on. We don’t have video cameras on site. It’s in [police] hands now.”
A letter was subsequently sent by Morici to Loma Portal families concerning the incident pointing out “how tolerant we are.”
“We take this type of negative and hateful action very seriously, and it will not be tolerated at Loma Portal,” said Morici’s letter. “I want to assure you there is no place for hate at Loma Portal. We focus each day on kindness, positivity, and inclusivity so that all students and families feel a sense of belonging to the Loma Portal community.”
Morici said the tagging appeared on an inclined wall leading up to a home near the 100-year-old school. “It was very hard to see for the public,” he said, adding it was viewable mostly from the school’s parking lot.
“We don’t believe our students had anything to do with this,” the principal concluded.
Morici pointed out Loma Portal just started a new character development program this year focusing on a different admirable character trait every month.
“March was compassion. April was tolerance,” Morici said. “Right now we’re focusing on determination. It helps our students focus on the positive and working together and being inclusive of everybody.”
The principal also noted the school had just completed Red Ribbon week, which promotes healthy lifestyles and avoidance of drug use by students.
Morici intends to reach out to the greater community. “I’m hoping our neighbors can watch out for our school after-hours and on weekends,” he said, while pointing out the difficulty of preventing use of any kind on school grounds after hours.
“It’s hard to keep skateboarders and others from using the facility (entirely), even though it’s surrounded by a 10-foot high chain-link fence,” Morici said. He pointed out school grounds can be accessed, “If you have the motivation.”
Anyone with information on the school tagging is urged to call SDUSD police at 619-291-7678.