Oak Park Police Investigate Racist Graffiti At OPRF High School

Steve Miller
November 02, 2018 - 8:02 pm
Oak Park River Forest High School

Oak Park River Forest High School via Facebook

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WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Oak Park Police are investigating racist graffiti at Oak Park and River Forest High School that targets a popular teacher.

The words are vulgar and the message names Oak Park and River Forest High School teacher Anthony Clark, who is black. A picture of the graffiti is posted on his Facebook page. 

"Even though this is a personal attack on me, it's a microcosm of the systemic issues that we've faced for decades, essentially since the founding of this nation," he said.

School officials released a statement late Friday night assuring parents that the offensive material was removed and that an investigation was underway.

"We live in a time where, sadly, safe spaces are targeted. Our goal for our school community is to do everything possible so that our staff, students, and families are not put in harm’s way. In the midst of our anger and sorrow over this hateful act, we remind ourselves that outrage without action will not further our work to be a safe space in our community... As school board president and superintendent, respectively, but more importantly as members of this community, we won’t tolerate our school being used as a springboard for hate," officials wrote on the school's Facebook page.

Before they released the statement, Clark said he doesn't need sympathy or apologies.  He said he wanted allies who are pushing for action against racism.

"The dominant narrative of 'when they go low, we go high,' the dominant narrative of 'civility over justice' --  but I don't believe in that.  I believe in justice over civility.

"And I believe when they go low, you respond with every ounce of your being in regards to defending yourself and defending those that you love."

 Anthony Clark, 36,  is the founder of the community action group Suburban Unity Alliance.

He ran against Congressman Danny Davis for the Democratic nomination in March.

A year ago, Clark was suspended briefly from his teaching job after he re-posted a photo of a white student in blackface.