Apr. 8-Howard County police are asking for the public's help to identify a suspect they believe committed racist vandalism at Glenwood Middle School in March.
The department released video on social media Tuesday of the incident. Police said the video shows a person driving through the school's parking lot in a gray SUV, parking near the sign and spray painting it.
The destruction of property, which police are also investigating as a hate-bias incident, occurred March 12. The school's marquee sign with the phrase "Black Lives Matter" was covered with spray paint to remove the word "Black" from appearing.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 410-313-7867 or email HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.
Soon after the vandalism was discovered, the paint was cleared off to show the full phrase.
"The Howard County Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano unequivocally condemn this vandalism and the racism underlying it," a Howard County school system news release read on March 15. "We believe the lives of our Black and brown students and staff should not be diminished and devalued in this way. We reiterate our support for the fact that Black lives matter."
The incident at Glenwood Middle was the latest act of racism involving Howard County schools in the past several years.
In 2014, a Glenelg High School student was disciplined for displaying a Confederate flag as a fan during a football game at River Hill High School. The flag was removed by a Glenelg school officially shortly after it was displayed. Five days after that incident, two Glenelg students then went to school with Confederate flags draped over their shoulders.
Two years after the incidents at Glenelg, more than 150 students from Mt. Hebron High School walked out of classes to protest a racist video released on social media depicting a white student calling Black people an "inferior race."
In 2018, four Glenelg students were arrested and charged with hate crimes after police said they painted swastikas and racial slurs - one of which was directed at the school's Black principal, David Burton - on campus sidewalks, walls and parking lot. The four - Tyler Curtiss, Matthew Lipp, Joshua Shaffer and Seth Taylor - were indicted in July 2018 by the Howard County State's Attorney's Office. They were sentenced between March and April 2019, all receiving various consecutive weekend jail sentences at the Howard County Detention Center.