Racist message found written in bathroom of Philadelphia Catholic girls school

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Friday, March 1, 2024
Racist message found written in bathroom of Philly Catholic school
Racist message found written in bathroom of Philly Catholic school

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A message found on the bathroom wall of Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls on Wednesday was serious enough to get not only the Archbishop of Philadelphia involved, but also the Philadelphia Police Department.

The message, which appeared to be scrawled in pencil, reads "The Blacks (SIC) girls here need to die." It also makes a negative comment about Black History Month.

Kim Finney's granddaughter, who attends Little Flower, showed her a photo of the graffiti.

"I was disgusted," said Finney. "I couldn't believe what I saw."

Finney said she brought the photo to the attention of the school principal whom Finney believes isn't taking racial incidents at the school seriously enough.

"I brought it to the principal's attention and she told me she couldn't discuss it with me," said Finney.

Little Flower sent letters to students and parents on Thursday and Friday about the situation. The letters emphasize that the school won't tolerate racism and identify it as a "mortal sin."

The school also said it contacted Philadelphia police who searched the school and were present to provide extra security on Friday. The school also addressed the emotional effects of the racist graffiti.

The statement reads in part: "We recognize and understand that the racially charged nature of the graffiti written on the bathroom stall has impacted the Little Flower community and has reopened societal wounds in a deeply painful way. The school administration has sought to provide support for students over the past two days and will continue to do so in the coming weeks"

Archbishop Nelson Pérez also sent a letter to the students of Little Flower on Friday expressing that he is "shocked, disappointed and deeply saddened to learn that racist and threatening graffiti was discovered inside your school earlier this week."

He goes on to also identify racism as a mortal sin and point to the impact of the racist graffiti, promising "severe consequences" for whoever is responsible.

"They have reopened deep and ugly wounds that debilitate our church and our community at large. In my heart, I know that these actions do not represent you or what Little Flower stands for."

Finney said the graffiti is indicative of a larger problem that has left her granddaughter feeling unheard and unsafe.

"She does not want to go to school," said Finney.

In May of 2023, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia held what it called a "day of healing' at St. Hubert High School. It came after students at that school were among the girls videoed making racist statements and spray painting a student's face black.

For Finney, it's all become too much for her and her granddaughter.

"She's going to a Catholic school, she's a Christian and we're trying to raise her right and we still have to face this," she said. "When is it going to stop?"