Students and employees at a Spanish-focused elementary school spent Monday trying to avoid and clean up racist graffiti apparently inspired by Donald Trump. A door, a trash can and multiple walls at Cali Calmecac Language Academy in Windsor, California, were found vandalized with messages reading "Trump 2016" and "Build The Wall Higher," KPIX reported.
Cali Calmecac is a Spanish immersion school where three-quarters of the student population is Latino. "I know children are nervous about this. It is personal," principal Jeanne Acuña told the news station. "And, whether this is a prank or not, it crosses lines where it creates a terrifying situation for small children."
The graffiti appeared to reference one of the Republican presidential candidate's most prominent proposals: that the United States should build a literal wall along its border with Mexico in order to keep out illegal immigrants. Most of the markings were painted over or otherwise removed by the end of the day, but some parents continued to express concern.
"If it was just 'We hate Mexicans' or 'We hate Latinos' or 'We don’t want Spanish,' that would be one thing. But to write 'build the wall, build it higher,' that’s a direct reference to his terms," George Valenzuela, a Cali Calmecac dad and school board trustee up for re-election next month, told the Press Democrat. "I'm sure Trump didn't send a supporter to do this work at the school. I'm sure his campaign doesn’t know anything about it. But whoever did the vandalism is somehow swayed by his words."
The Cali Calmecac graffiti is being investigated as a hate crime, according to KGO. It's not the first time an American school has been defaced during the course of Trump's campaign.
Last week in Wilder, Vermont, Dothan Brook School was spray-painted with the message "AmeriK.K.K.ans for Trump!" In May, lockers at Los Banos High School in Los Banos, California, were chalked with "Make America Great Again." In April, the University of California in San Diego students spotted "deport them all" and "Mexico will pay" scrawled on the ground.
Trump's campaign has galvanized a group of voters known as the alt-right, or extremist conservatives who reject the establishment they argue is threatening their white identity, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The tycoon's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, condemned Trump fans last month by saying she'd put half of them into a "basket of deplorables" for being "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it," CNN reported.
As of Tuesday morning, Trump was trailing Clinton by about 5 percentage points nationally, according to data averaged by RealClear Politics.