Graffiti with racial slur found in Our Lady of Mercy bathroom

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BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — Graffiti containing a racial slur was found in one of the bathrooms at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women in Brighton on Monday.

The Brighton Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime according to Principal Marty Killbridge.

The message says "This school is filled with a bunch of n*****s Get out or else!!". Primetime585, the social media handle of Karen Iglesia, a local woman who chronicles Section V sports and who has a close relationship with many high school athletes as a result, shared an image of the graffiti on Twitter, saying, "My inbox was flooded today from @OLM_HSgirls. This note was written in the bathroom and they had issues on how the administration dealt w/ it. They (many athletes- all WHITE) begged me to post it because they were so upset at how trivial the school made it. #studentplatform"

In an email sent to parents Monday morning, the school said the administration is not sure if the graffiti was written by someone from the school or a visitor over the weekend, but it is conducting a "thorough investigation" with the help of the Brighton Police Department and that it will pursue "maximum measures to deal with the offender(s)."

The message also said, in part:

"Please pardon this interruption for this important announcement. This morning, we found graffiti in a high school bathroom that wrote out the n-word and said, ‘Get out or else.’ We are investigating this and will hold those responsible, whether they are Mercy people or not.

"Let us be clear, anyone who uses this language and is disparaging to our Mercy girls and Mercy community is not welcome at Mercy. We are unequivocally a school that embraces diversity and inclusion. We are a Catholic school, committed to gospel values of faith, hope, and love. The world is full of hate and violence. We want all of you to reflect on how Mercy can be a place of love and peace. What role do you play in creating such an environment?

"Counselors, administrators, and Mrs. Dickey will be available in the Wellness and Counseling Center during Advisement and throughout the day to support anyone who feels unsafe. We will convene assemblies on this topic this week and will be notifying your parents of this. Thank you; that is all."

The school’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Consultant Linda Dickey told News10NBC’s Patrick Moussignac what some students have shared with her throughout the day.

"Some of them have not experienced anything like this so some of them are telling me they don’t know how to feel," Dickey said. "Some of them are saying that they’re hurt. That they’re concerned so we have been talking, and we’re having those conversations."

School leaders are urging anyone with information to come forward as they conduct their investigation.