In the Sierra Wave newsroom Tuesday morning, parents’ Facebook anger showed up in our email accounts. It was all about graffiti or tagging at the elementary school in Bishop.
One mother said, “We are lucky to live in a fairly safe community in a beautiful area. People come here for vacation, but I get to raise my kids here.” She went on to say that when she found out that her kids got to school only to find “Owens Valley posse b.s.” tagged all over their school, it infuriated her. She was not alone. Facebook displayed plenty of angry comments. A number of tags said “OVP” and other words or letters such as “Vega” and “Boi”.
Reports said that dozens of tags showed up on windows, doors, trees and one car. Maintenance staff went to work cleaning it up but could not get it all done before students arrived. We talked to School District Superintendent Barry Simpson. He said the tags in blue spray paint were isolated to areas around Bishop Elementary School.
Simpson said he took pictures and notified the authorities – Bishop Police and Tribal Police. He said this kind of thing does not happen often.
Maybe once a year. Is there any issue on campus that might have sparked the tagging? Simpson said not that he knows of – no expulsion or fights.
The letters OVP could be seen in many of the tags that showed up on multiple doors and windows of two or three buildings. Katie Coffman, Public Information Officer for Bishop Police, said that there was a large amount of graffiti writing everywhere on the first and second grade buildings and the main building. Coffman said, “Paint tagging was visible on doors, windows, trees, a vehicle, and other areas down West Pine St. There was quite a bit of damage,” she said. “The school has a lot of work to do to clean it up.”
The incident remains under investigation by Bishop Police and the Tribal Police.