Graffiti Targets Tam Principal

By Megan Butt

An act of vandalism targeting Principal JC Farr with the use of profanity and racial epithets occurred at Tam High on the night of July 18.

The graffiti was found on an exterior wall of Hoetger Hall, documented, and then removed, according to Farr.

“It was derogatory words addressed towards me. There was profanity and race-based choice of words that were derogatory,” Farr said. “It was definitely directed towards me in an attempt to create a feeling of discomfort inside of me and tell me how they feel about me.”

The vandalism is currently under investigation by the Mill Valley Police Department.

Police Lt. Jacqueline Graf-Reis told the Marin Independent Journal that Tam does have surveillance cameras, but she would not say whether footage has been collected from them, as the case is still under investigation.

Tamalpais Union High School District Superintendent David Yoshihara sent an email to all Tam families on July 19 informing them off the incident and stating that the district is treating the vandalism as “hate-motivated behavior” and “will also pursue all legal measures available…”

Yoshihara also noted that hateful behavior goes against what the Tam community stands for and strives to demonstrate.

“As a school and District, we are engaging in ongoing dialogue about issues of race, discrimination, prejudice and privilege and the role each plays in our community and the larger society,” he wrote. “Our commitment to this work is focused on providing a school environment that is free of prejudice and is safe for all staff and students to who rightly call Tam High their school.”

Farr echoed Yoshihara’s sentiment and explained that this incident motivates him even more to pursue unity and acceptance at Tam.

“I’m disappointed, but I am a little bit of a fighter in that way. I’m not easily intimidated or swayed by words. You know, I give them no power. For me, it’s more of an irritation. I am passionate about the work that I do and so for me this is just another log on the fire,” he said.I think we’re stronger when we value our differences and we are really working hard here to create a sense of belonging and a unified school.”

A protest against the hate crime took place at the Tam arches on Thursday afternoon, with an estimated turnout of 60 community members.

Farr encourages anyone with information regarding the vandalism to contact administration or him directly. A confidential hotline is available at 415-380-3507.