RCMP arrest teen after racist graffiti painted on Antigonish school

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said someone painted graffiti on a school bus, a school and a sign near the East Antigonish Education Centre in Monastery, N.S., on Monday.

Mi'kmaq woman questions why students weren't kept away from school until graffiti was removed

Racist graffiti was spotted on a bus at East Antigonish Education Centre in Monastery, N.S., on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Google Street View)

RCMP have arrested a teenager after someone painted racist graffiti at a Nova Scotia school.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said someone painted graffiti on a school bus, a school and a sign near the East Antigonish Education Centre in Monastery on Monday.

"The graffiti was racially and culturally insensitive and included profanity and derogatory comments about both Indigenous people and the African-Nova Scotian community," Hutchinson said Friday.

After investigations took them to Antigonish, officers arrested a 17-year-old male. He's charged with public incitement to hatred and four counts of mischief.

'We fight hate with light and love'

Speaking to CBC's Information Morning Friday before the arrest, parent Molly Peters said the graffiti left her "shocked and appalled."

"My main concern was not my own hurt, but my main concern was for our children," she said.

Peters's two daughters attend the school and live in nearby Paqtnkek First Nation.

When she heard about the racist graffiti directed at First Nations people, she went to the school and spoke to her girls. En route, she saw graffiti on doors, windows and signs, inside and outside of the school.

They didn't fully understand what was happening, so she told them about the graffiti. She said to them, "I just want to make sure that you know we don't fight hate with hate. We fight hate with love and light and compassion."

Peters wondered why any students were at the school that day, given that the school officials knew the night before and could see it at first light. "It's just a lapse of judgment, I guess, and a lack of communication."

She supported the move to pull First Nations students out of the school for the week. She said kids shouldn't feel they have to defend the community, as adults should do that. 

She said ultimately she'd like to see a school in the community so kids can learn from a Mi'kmaq perspective.

"They can start their day through ceremony, they can start their school through prayer. We can go through our own history so that they can feel proud of who they are as Mi'kmaq people and grow into strong Mi'kmaq women."

With files from Information Morning