Law enforcement officials in the state of Virginia have arrested five teenage vandals on felony charges of defacing a historic schoolhouse that is a benchmark of black history.
According to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, a quintuplet of teens has been charged with multiple felony offenses, including destruction of property and entering the property with the intention of vandalizing it. Since juveniles are accused of committing this crime, the identity of the suspects cannot legally be revealed.
The racially-inspired vandalism of Ashburn Colored School (a one-room 19th-century schoolhouse) was discovered on October 1st. Community activists and historic neighborhood associations decried the white supremacist graffiti that was defaced on the symbolic relic of Virginia’s significant pillar of history.
“The Loudoun County NAACP condemns this senseless act. We are currently working with others to organize a vigil/rally at the site to bring our community together in solidarity in rejecting this type of vile hate. This is not Loudoun County and we will not let his define us,” said Loudoun County NAACP President Philip Thompson to the Times-Mirror.
“We are better than this and we hope the community will come out and support our response of love, respect and understanding,” Thompson continued.
Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall also talked to the Times-Mirror about this current hate crime.
“Now is the time for our County to rise above retaliation or revenge. We will let our law enforcement do their jobs and complete the investigation and as a county we will send a message that this behavior is neither welcomed or tolerated in Loudoun. This is not Loudoun,” Randall told the Times-Mirror.
Though the five accused vandals in this case are being charged with felonies, they will more escape the serious scrutiny of being charged with a hate crime, which involves the implication of more severe legal circumstances.