Niceville High administrators are looking into who may have spray-painted racial slur on visiting bleachers during last Friday's game at Fort Walton Beach High.
FORT WALTON BEACH — Niceville High School administrators are investigating who may have been behind a racial slur spray-painted on the visiting bleachers during last Friday’s football game between Niceville and Fort Walton Beach at Fort Walton Beach’s Steve Riggs Stadium.
Fort Walton Beach administrators were made aware of the graffiti about 11 p.m. Friday during post-game stadium cleanup following Niceville’s 29-17 win.
“People at our school were understandably upset and people in our community were upset,” Principal John Spolski said. “Everyone at our school is valued and they know we find strength in diversity. ... Any child can make a mistake or have poor judgment, but we don’t tolerate incidents like this.
"Absolutely no one should be exposed to that (word) and we don’t want any part of that.”
Fort Walton Beach administrators reached out to Niceville Principal Charlie Marello late Friday night via e-mail, requesting a student group from Niceville come and clean up the graffiti before pee-wee football games at the stadium Saturday morning.
Marello and Assistant Principal Ryan Gore went to the stadium to remove the graffiti and had it cleaned up by 8 a.m.
“That type of behavior is not tolerated within any school district, and certainly not within Niceville High School,” Marello said. “We have an active investigation to find out who the perpetrators were and it will be dealt with in accordance with School Board policy.”
Marello said he has been interviewing students who were at the game and sitting in the area where the graffiti was found.
Over the weekend, a photo of the graffiti began to make its rounds on social media. Spolski said he addressed the issue to concerned parents at a Student Advisory Council meeting Tuesday at Fort Walton Beach High.
Fort Walton Beach hosts Milton on Friday for its homecoming game. Niceville travels to play Crestview.