KIRKWOOD, Mo. — Two men were arrested and charged in connection to vandalism at three Kirkwood schools last week.
At around 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, Kirkwood High School, Nipher Middle School and North Kirkwood Middle School reported racist and derogatory statements were spray-painted on the exterior of the schools.
Surveillance video from the high school showed three people walk up with cans of spray paint. They were all wearing hooded sweatshirts and at least one of the suspects was wearing a face covering.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, the Kirkwood Police Department said it completed its investigation and identified three suspects.
Two of the suspects, Daniel Moore and Christian Reese, both 18 years old, were arrested and charged with property damage for all three locations.
The third suspect is a minor and their case has been referred to the St. Louis County Family Court for consideration.
The school district said one person suspected in the vandalism is a current student and the other two are Kirkwood High School graduates.
Dozens of people gathered at the high school Wednesday morning to speak out against the vandalism.
"It's unacceptable," said Izzy Schwent, a Kirkwood High School senior. "At least I know there's good in the world and I can stand up for what I believe in."
The protest was organized by Dena Bashiti.
"We are here to say that it's not okay in our community, we have to keep standing up to this," she said. "It's unacceptable."
Dr. David Ulrich, superintendent for the Kirkwood School District, sent a message to families thanking the community for coming together to support students and staff during this time.
“Our school community is hurting. We call on you to continue efforts to support our schools and join us as we continue our commitment to eradicate racism and hurtful acts within our schools. Our schools should be a place where everyone feels they belong,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich said the district will work with student leaders and members of the community to determine next steps in creating “a school climate of equity and safety, where everyone is inclusive of one another.”
"Our school leaders have plans to continue the learning and conversation, which will be led by our counselors. We will support our school family and heal together," he said.