BETHESDA, Md. — An 18-year-old and two 17-year-olds have been arrested for vandalizing Walt Whitman High School, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.
The arrests are a part of an investigation by police into racist graffiti spray-painted on the school's campus in June and March. Words written on the property include the N-word and the word "lynch."
Racist language has been written or spray-painted on the campus of Walt Whitman High School twice since March.
Jake F. Hoffman is the only name released by police, since the other suspects are minors.
Hoffman and one of the 17-year-olds came into the station with their parents to turn themselves in after the June 13 spray-painting incident, according to police.
Police added that the other teen admitted to spray-painting racist language on school property on March 1 when interviewed by investigators about the June 13 incident.
During interviews with the suspects, police said the teens had originally looked to vandalize the front of the school with racist language, but that Hoffman directed one of the 17-year-olds to tag a utility shed instead.
One of the teens allegedly told police that they committed this crime in an effort to make the news during the heightened coverage of racial injustice amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
The incident at Walt Whitman also came after a protest was held near the campus of the school within the last two weeks.
Walt Whiteman laid out a plan in 2019 to address racism and bigotry in its school after a social media incident where students posed in blackface and used the N-word to describe themselves.
The three arrested are residents of the county and have been charged with conspiracy to commit destruction of property, according to police. One of the 17-year-olds faces two destructions of property charges, while the other two suspects only face one charge.