VANCOUVER -- A school district on Vancouver Island says several of its schools have been targeted with racist graffiti in recent weeks.

The Cowichan Valley School District says the incidents started on May 12, and have been increasing in frequency since then.

Each one has been reported to local RCMP, who are investigating, the school district said in a news release Thursday.

The schools targeted with the racist graffiti are:

  • May 12: Discovery Elementary School in Shawnigan Lake
  • June 6: Frances Kelsey Secondary School in Mill Bay (first incident)
  • June 13: Frances Kelsey Secondary School (second incident)
  • June 22: École Mount Prevost in Duncan
  • June 23: Cowichan Secondary School in Duncan

The school district asks anyone who witnessed the incidents or has information about them to contact the RCMP. Tips about Discovery Elementary and Frances Kelsey should be provided to Lake Cowichan RCMP at 250-743-5514, while tips about the other schools should be provided to North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.

“We are working closely with our RCMP partners to find out who is responsible for these reprehensible acts," said Candace Spilsbury, chair of the board of education for the Cowichan Valley School District, in the news release.

"We know that, unfortunately, racism is alive and well in our communities," Spilsbury added. "We are relying on members of our communities to come forward with any information that may help us find those that continue to target our students, staff, and community through these racist messages."

The school district did not elaborate on the contents of the messages in the graffiti or say what groups the racist messages were targeting.

"The board of education would like to thank the RCMP for their diligence in these investigations, as well as thanking district operations staff who have been quick to respond to these incidents and paint over the graffiti," the district said in its release.