Senior prank or hate crime? Marian High School vandalized

Published: May. 23, 2016 at 11:43 AM EDT
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Senior prank or hate crime? Administrators at one Mishawaka school are investigating multiple acts of vandalism that took place on property grounds within the last week.

Vandals targeted exterior areas of Marian High School with sacrilegious graffiti, raising concern this may be more than just a practical joke or senior prank.

Marian High School's principal, Mark Kirzeder tells me the incident happened Friday morning.

Graffiti was found near the track, and on the press box at Bob Otolski Field.

One photo, sent to us by a viewer, depicts an anarchist symbol, with "Class of 2016" spray painted to its left and what appears to be an upside down cross.

Another area hit by vandals shows the message "JESUS IS DEAD”…next to it, a swastika.

Whether the stunt was a senior prank gone wrong or a hate crime is still under investigation; however, the school is handling this as a private matter, internally.

According to Chief Steve Ravotto, the Mishawaka Police Department is aware of the property defacement, but school administrators have yet to file a police report.

In a statement Kirzeder tells NewsCenter 16:
"It is sad and unfortunate that Marian High School's property was vandalized. If and when the person or persons responsible are identified, the school will work with the Mishawaka Police Department, and potentially the parents of the offenders, to help reinforce the gospel values that are an integral part of the catholic education that students have been receiving at Marian for the past fifty years," said Mark B. Kirzeder, principal, Marian High School.

Monday, Marian administrators asked us not to film on property grounds, but as you can see in the attached video, the explicit words and symbols have been removed or painted over just above the bleachers.

Kirzeder also tells me it's unclear whether or not the property was vandalized by any of his students. He stressed to me over the phone this is not a representation of all Marian High School students and in no way does it fall in line with the values instilled in them.