The Ashburn Colored School building reminds locals of a time of racist Jim Crow laws when schools were segregated, legally separating black and white children. Now that students at the Loudoun School for the Gifted have been raising money to turn it into a museum, reminding the public of exactly what it represents, it’s been defaced with distasteful and racist graffiti.

Three sides of the historic Virginia building were covered in spray paint that included “white power” and the Nazi swastika, according to the Washington Post.

“The moment you bring attention to what it is and that it’s being restored somebody decides to deface it,” said Deep Sran, the founder of the Loudoun School for the Gifted.

Sran says that students and their families have held a number of fundraisers with a goal of refurbishing the property and also be home to the new campus for the Loudoun School for the Gifted, which is expected to start construction in the next few months.

Due to the building’s fragile state, it may take some time before the graffiti can be removed as school officials look to find a way that doesn’t jeopardize the school’s condition.

“My heart kind of sank and exploded because I was thinking to myself we’ve done so much work. How dare these people come and ruin such an important place,” said Taz Foreman, a seventh-grader at the Loudoun School for the Gifted. “It’s horrible that they’ve done it.”

An investigation is currently underway to find out more about who may have vandalized the building.

“The vandalism to the old Ashburn School is reprehensible and will not be tolerated here in Loudoun County,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman. “We will investigate all aspects of this.”

A GoFundMe Campaign was started to help with the one-room school building’s restoration.

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