GLENELG, Md. - Four teens have been charged with hate crimes after racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ slurs were found spray-painted at a Howard County school, according to officials.
School officials found the graffiti at Glenelg High School in Glenelg, Maryland early Thursday morning.
After reviewing surveillance video, the following senior students at the high school were arrested:
All four suspects face multiple counts of destruction of property based on race, color, religious belief, sexual orientation, or national origin, according to officials. Authorities said the misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
"It is completely unacceptable and actions of this nature will not be tolerated in Howard County. I know that many students and staff were troubled upon arriving at school this morning and we are providing the necessary supports for anybody who needs them," Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said in part of a written statement.
According to district officials, one of the slurs specifically targeted the school's principal.
"I know the sentiments expressed in this terrible graffiti are extremely unsettling to our residents. But we cannot let those who promote hate destroy our important year-end traditions and must remind ourselves that this type of intolerant behavior is the work of a small number of hateful individuals," Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said in a part of a written statement. "They do not represent our shared beliefs as a community. They do not represent our shared values in Howard County. We will not tolerate it and will stand together in condemning this behavior."