Watch CBS News

Ojai Unified School District Buildings, Preschool Vandalized With Anti-Mask Graffiti

OJAI (CBSLA) — Anti-mask graffiti was discovered scrawled on Ojai Unified School District's offices and a preschool early Monday morning, district officials said.

ojai school vandallism
(credit: James Forsythe)

"Unmask my kids" was scrawled with red spray paint at four locations, including a preschool building on the property, according to Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Morse. The vandalism was discovered Monday morning at 6 a.m.

Pictures of the graffiti were posted to Facebook by teacher James Forsythe.

"I'm thoroughly disgusted with the vandalism that is taking place at Ojai Unified," he wrote in his post. "This is a form of intimidation and terrorism directed at school officials and students."

The vandalism follows a relatively large protest of as many as 100 people who went to the district's offices on Friday to protest mask mandates. That was preceded by a chaotic Wednesday board meeting, where between 30 and 50 people signed up to speak out against vaccine and mask mandates.

Morse said that the district has had ongoing problems with a contingent of parents who don't want to put masks on their children, similar to scenes that have been playing out at school board meetings across the nation – but it has had a big impact on a small community like Ojai.

"Ojai has a reputation of being a Shangri-la," Morse said.

But Morse said the continuing hostility, and the vandalism on the district's offices, has for the first time made her concerned for her safety.

"I'm not easily scared," Morse said. "I am at a place now where I'm worried."

But, there is good news – Morse said the organizer of Friday's protest did reach out to offer to help clean up the vandalism. The cleanup, which is being handled by district staff, continued into Tuesday and Morse said she expected to be the cost of the damages to be under $500.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.