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Alleged racist drawing found in high school, under investigation

An alleged racist drawing found at George Washington High School made its way to the Kanawha County school board and Charleston police Thursday after catching attention on social media. (WCHS/WVAH)

An alleged racist drawing found at George Washington High School made its way to the Kanawha County school board and Charleston police Thursday after catching attention on social media.

"It was a cartoon of someone hanging from a tree and it described something to the nature of 'Black people are in my family tree' and it was very vulgar,” CARE Coalition Director Gabrielle Chapman said.

It was a clear message of racism to Chapman. She said she was shocked to see it as she scrolled through Facebook. Police said the drawing was found under a desk in the high school and then posted on social media.

"It kind of just struck me as at some point, we've forgotten how to treat other people," Chapman said.

The school board was made aware of that photo on Thursday while schools were closed. Student Meadow Booth said racist rhetoric, similar to what was written on the drawing, is used far too often.

"It's everywhere and you're not going to get away from it,” Booth said.

Like Booth, Chapman was once a George Washington High School student.

"That's not the experience I would want anyone else to have to go through high school,” Chapman said.

She said it's time to start talking about race.

"We can't just ignore it. It's been an elephant in the room for so long and it's not new; it's just rearing its head right now,” Chapman said.

Police said they don't know how long the drawing may have been there for and who drew it.

A Kanawha County Schools spokeswoman said the incident is being investigated by the school system's security director and school leadership.

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