An unknown group of vandals painted racist and crude images on an historic Black schoolhouse in Ashburn, Virginia over the weekend.
According to WUSA9 ABC 13 News Now, the post-Civil War one-room Ashburn Schoolhouse was built to educate Black students during the height of segregation and Jim Crow. After the Civil War, a Black man bought land and built the structure as an educational resource for under-served youth. It was used from the late 1800s to about five years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision that desegregated schools nationwide. The building has remained largely intact over the years.
Initial police reports said the incident occurred between Friday night and early Saturday morning. However, no witnesses have come forward and police are not calling it a hate crime.
Prior to recent acts of vandalism, the building was in the middle of a long string of renovations. Students from Loudoun County School for the Gifted have been meticulously renovating the building for educational uses. The committee leader Deep Sran tells ABC 13 News Now that the school housed nearly 40 students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.
“I want it to be a space where students come in,” Sran says. “They think of it as a working space. And they kind of imagine what it was like and kind of the direction of progress we made since then.”
One student could not believe that someone did this to the landmark.
“It’s awful,” Shailee Sran tells reporters. “I mean so much time and effort went into restoring this old school house. It’s just appalling … the ignorance and racism that was painted here.”
Now, Sran wants to finish the project so that the public can witness history.
The committee is asking for $75,000 to finish restoring the historic landmark.