Police Investigate Vandalism Of Arlington "Black Lives Matter" Banner

ARLINGTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Arlington Police Department is investigating after a banner outside Arlington High School that reads "We Believe Black Lives Matter" was vandalized.

Police responded to a report of the vandalism at around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Upon arrival, police spoke with a school custodian, who reported that a banner hung on the construction fence facing Massachusetts Avenue on the campus of Arlington High School had been vandalized with spray paint.

"The banner was mounted on the construction fence earlier this summer on the school's campus," said APD, "in an effort by the district to express a unified statement that Black Lives Matter."

The school said the idea to hang the banner came in the wake of conversations between administrators and the school's Black Student Union and Arlington High School Anti-Racism Working Group, whose membership includes students, staff, administration, and parents.

The custodian told police the banner was removed at approximately 8:15 a.m. after the damage was discovered.

"We are thoroughly investigating this incident and treating it with the utmost seriousness," said Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty. "This act of vandalism not only damaged school property, but it sent a hurtful message to the entire community that contradicts the shared values the banner was meant to convey."

Arlington Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said the district will prioritize repairing or replacing the banner, so that it can "continue to serve as a visible reminder of our commitment to community-building for and among students, faculty, and staff alike."

"We're very disappointed that this banner was defaced as it was a way for students, teachers and administrators to state a shared principle for the school. It is very painful to see it vandalized," said Superintendent Bodie. "We are thankful to the Arlington Police Department for investigating this matter."

Arlington Police are asking anyone with information regarding the vandalism to call the department at 781-643-1212.

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(Photo: ArlingtonPD/Twitter)

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