‘This is not who we are,’ Muscatine elementary school vandalized with racial slurs

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MUSCATINE, Iowa-- After lunch, Mrs. Baar's third graders get a lesson in reading. But before that comes a teachable moment about respect.

"Any time things are said or written about people or things that are disappointing, those are always teachable opportunities for us," says McKinley Elementary school principal Joelle McConnaha.

At first glance, the brick wall by the playground looks normal, but if you really look, you might be able to make out the faint remnants of a hate crime.

"I was notified Saturday morning that there were some graffiti and different types of drawings on the school windows and signs," says McConnaha.

Things like KKK, the n-word, and Trump were spray painted onto the school.

"It's always disappointing when uninformed people try to make a statement with a spray can," says Muscatine schools superintendent Dr. Jerry Riibe.

It's disappointing for sure, but it's also an opportunity to teach.

"Our focus is on treating each other with respect, making sure we have a caring environment," says McConnaha.

School leaders want to teach the community something as well.

"We understand how important everyone feeling respected is in a community. And we feel that is really at the heart of what Muscatine is about," says Riibe.

Police are still looking for the person or persons responsible for the vandalism.


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