If you passed by Cali Calmecac Language Academy early Wednesday morning, you would’ve seen a group of community members crowded around the school entrance holding signs reading “have a great day at school” or” Windsor loves Cali.” This wasn’t a protest, it was a heartwarming gesture demonstrated by Windsor community members as a response to the awful vandalism which took place earlier that week.
Cali Calmecac Language Academy is a kindergarten through eighth grade immersion school in the Windsor Unified School District, where students start out speaking only Spanish and are fluent in English by the time they graduate 8th grade. On Monday morning students arrived to find their school horribly vandalized with graffiti writing throughout the walls of the campus.
Around 6 a.m., a janitor found the words “Build the wall higher” on a wall inside the school along with Donald Trump’s name spray painted on doors and other walls. It was clear this was a reference to anti-immigrant comments made by Trump.
Many parents and students of the school said they felt the graffiti portrayed an offensive and racist message.
“It was disrespectful. This school has a lot of different people with different skin (colors),” said Dither Ochoa, a 10year-old student at Cali Calmecac.
The vandalism was so bad that the Windsor Unified School District sent over additional janitorial staff to assist with the cleanup.
According to Sergeant Eddie Engram, Windsor police can’t yet say anything about the identity of the suspects because they are still waiting to review security footage from the school.
Council members Debora Fudge and Bruce Okrepkie made an appearance on Wednesday, along with around 40 supporters which included Windsor Unified School District Superintendent Steven Jorgensen and Jeanne Acuna, principal of Cali Calmecac.
“There’s been so much support and just an outpouring of goodwill from the community,” Acuna said. “It’s just amazing. The positive in this outweighs the negatives so much that it’s very heartwarming.”
It’s very unnerving that members of a community could take Trump’s words so literally, that they would go so far as to vandalize a children’s school in an attempt to make a statement.
“I don’t think they were trying to get votes here,” said Christina Keller, a fifth grade teacher at the school.
The awful spray paint is now gone, but you can still notice the freshly painted patches where the hateful words once were.
Now, the question we must ask ourselves in this situation is what caused this? Is this in fact an act of racism? Or is this the product of an election with a candidate who is creating a hateful dialogue that individuals are taking too literally?
Sonoma County Republican chairwoman Edelweiss Geary said that this stunt reinforced an incorrect narrative about the national campaign, and called the vandalism a “dirty little trick.”
It’s horrible that a person running for president of the United States is spewing out such ridiculous rhetoric that becamea reason for vandalism.
What will this mean for us if Donald Trump is actually elected? Is this a glimpse of what is to come if he wins?