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Coeur d’Alene School District superintendent apologizes for late action on racist vandalism

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 2, 2018, 10:25 p.m.

Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent Steven Cook (Courtesy photo)
Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent Steven Cook (Courtesy photo)

Coeur d’Alene Public Schools Superintendent Steven Cook issued a strongly worded apology Thursday for the district’s handling of racist vandalism at Lake City High School.

“(T)he manner in which we, as a school district, responded to this situation was not up to anyone’s standards, including mine,” he said.

The vandalism – a swastika drawn in gasoline and burned into the high school’s football field – was discovered by maintenance staff in June. It was not immediately removed, however, and district leaders remained unaware of it until roughly a week ago, confirmed Scott Maben, communications director for the district.

Cook acknowledged the tardiness of the district’s actions in his statement.

“Vandalism such as this needs to be reported to district officials and law enforcement as soon as it’s discovered, and removed as quickly as possible,” he said. “Discovering that there was a failure to immediately take these actions over the summer is deeply disappointing.”

Cook said the district has conducted a thorough investigation of the incident, although it will continue to search for the identities of the individuals involved. He said it has identified several areas of improvement, including response and reporting procedures.


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