(CNN) – A police officer was filmed wiping away chalk messages written by children in support of black lives matter.
Officials say the officer was off-duty at the time… and is not even from that jurisdiction.
The man has been identified by Baltimore County police as an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction. He’s been washing away Black Lives Matter messages written in chalk by students at Hillcrest elementary school in Catonsville.
“Somebody erasing it hurts because I have lots of black friends, and when someone thinks they don’t have the same chances as someone else, it just makes me feel really sad,” William Fox, a student at the school said.
After schools closed in March, students started drawing chalk messages on the building about how much they loved school and supported their teachers. Following the police in custody death of George Floyd, Gabe Plusen wrote a Black Lives Matter message on the building in support of his sister who will be going there next year for kindergarten.
“With all that’s going on right now I thought Catonsville needed to have a change and I wanted to make it better for her and any other black person that is coming into the school and in the community,” Plusen said.
Police say this off-duty officer kept washing the Black Lives Matter messages away but doing so inspired more messages.
“More people are coming back every time and we are writing more so the whole school is covered,” Plusen said.
“Makes me feel kind of angry because we worked really hard on this,” Noah Rice, a former student, said. “I don’t get why they have a problem with it.”
For parents in the community the erasing of the Black Lives Matter messages has become a teachable moment.
“I’m telling them that black lives matter,” Chris Grybauskas, one of the parents, said. “I’m telling them this is an important moment in history and I’m telling them that there is a lesson to be learned about what’s right and what’s wrong.”
“I think that for children this is so important for a lot of them this is their first political statement,” Michelle Duberry, another parent, said. “I think the message we send to them, messages of love and the importance of valuing black lives, and say to them they have to take that down. That is crushing for children.”
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