A year ago, Isis Kailimai began her final year at L’Anse Creuse Central High School in Harrison Township.
As is a senior tradition at school, Kailimai painted his assigned parking space. Seniors are allowed to create any type of artwork they wish in the space, as long as they follow school guidelines. Inspired by the death of George Floyd in late May 2020, Kailimai used her space to paint a raised black fist surrounded by a ribbon saying Black Lives Matter.
Kailimai started his drawing with a stenciled outline and then took three days to paint it. She is not an artist and she was proud of her work, which she completed on September 12, 2020.
“I wanted other people at school to see it. I wanted them to see that my life matters, ”Kailimai said. “It was supposed to be a revelation for the school.”
Almost a year to the day later, on September 9, 2021, his work was vandalized – first when someone accelerated their vehicle, leaving skid marks. The next day, there were no more. In addition to the skid marks, someone else painted on Black Lives Matter with the word “Don’t”. The vandals wrote “Trump” on their fist, drew a blue flag in the upper right corner, wrote “Police Lives Matter” on Isis’ name, and wrote “bi-” next to her name.
Kailimai, who will be attending Oakland Community College this winter, where she plans to start studying business marketing, found out through friends who posted it on Snapchat, and through her sister, who is in grade nine. at school.
“I was angry. I couldn’t believe it. Why all of a sudden now? I was angry that someone so childish was doing this,” Kailimai said. “I had several emotions. going through me at the same time. I was hurt and a little scared. I didn’t know how far they were going to take it.
Kailimai, who attended LCHS for four years, said she felt racial tensions in the first few weeks of school last year after students saw what she painted in her parking lot. She said that “people were saying things” and she heard the use of the “N word” about her and a few of her friends. But she said he died after a few weeks. She estimates that about 25% of her class was black.
Isis said she spoke to the LCC administration. He was told that the footage from the security cameras was too blurry to identify the culprits. She estimated that her parking spot was about 50 feet from the school.
Kailimai said she knew the names of those who committed separate acts of vandalism. She said the tire brands were from a student in her class last year who was exposed by her friends on Snapchat, adding that the student had always been kind to her in person. She said the person who added the graffiti is still a student at school, and her friends called her to identify her.
“… I would never do something like this because I’m not childish, or immature, and just because I was taught not (to) do things like this,” Kailimai said in his Instagram post after the incident. “But the fact that they’ve done all of this shows how cowardly they are that they couldn’t do it in front of me while I was still in school. These children are racist and deserve all the consequences they are about to face. “
The administration of the Lycée L’Anse Creuse filed a police report after the incident. Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Sgt. Renee Yax said on Monday that there was no real lead to follow and that the sheriff’s office would not pursue the case, which is closed.
But late Tuesday afternoon, Major Mickens said the case was reopened after the school district identified the suspects and reported them to the sheriff’s office.
“I spoke to the sheriff today (Tuesday),” Mickens said. We identified who they were. The case was closed, but now it is open again.
Mickens could not go into details, but he said a suspect was no longer a student at the school, but that suspect received a “no-trespassing letter” from the school district. Those who are still students in the school district have been disciplined, Mickens said.
When asked if there was more than one student involved in putting graffiti on the parking space, Mickens said, “The students involved were disciplined.”
The manager said he and his staff were considering what to do next to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future.
“We don’t like that kind of thing happening. We are going to do more about diversity and inclusion in the future, ”he said.
The Lycée L’Anse Creuse has already repainted the parking space, which would have been done before the start of the school year, but no one else had purchased this space. In the past, Mickens said, students were required to paint over their artwork before the end of the school year and graduation. But with all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic last year, including when or if the elderly would have a graduation ceremony, none of the students painted over their works last June.
Kailimai said she heard students from the school form a group to repaint the place with a Black Lives Matter theme. Kailimai said if that happens she would be happy to help.
Mickens said he was aware of the formation of the student group, but no decision was made on what to do with this parking spot.
Kailimai posted photos of the vandalism on her Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook pages, adding that she received overwhelming support on all three social media channels.
“I’m really happy that so many people are supporting me,” Kailimai said. “They support me and say the situation is really bad. It really opened my eyes. The fact that it happened so quickly was great. Many people from other countries have supported me.