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Suggestive graffiti on elementary school shocks Port Coquitlam neighbours

Someone painted a giant penis on the wall of Birchland Elementary, sparking social media discussion about community values. It's been cleaned up, SD43 says.

Nasty graffiti on the wall of a Port Coquitlam school has been cleaned up.

But the image of a large penis and the words 'gay is okay' have frustrated some neighbours who visited the area to exercise their dog.

On social media, multiple people commented that the image was inappropriate and the damage is hurtful to children who attend Birchland Elementary (1331 Fraser Ave.) — located on the city's north side.

"This is not OK! It is not OK that someone’s children think it’s perfectly acceptable to spray paint/leave garbage and break glass bottles all over an elementary school ground or any property for that matter!," wrote Ewa Walkosz, who said her partner spotted the graffiti on Friday night (May 13).

"Kids at Birchland will have to be extra cautious walking around shattered glass. Young minds will get a visual that is absolutely inappropriate to see at the very least. And teachers will again question why they have to put up with angry parents for something they had no control over."

A spokesperson from School District 43 (SD43) said the graffiti was cleaned up as soon as the district was notified.

"Unfortunately inappropriate messages and damage to schools in the form of graffiti happens occasionally," stated spokesperson Ken Hoff in an email to the Tri-City News.

"If an incident occurs, district crews work as quickly as possible to remove the offending messages and clean up the site to minimize the potential exposure to students and the community. At Birchland, the situation was addressed as soon as the district was alerted and completed as a priority early Monday morning."

Repairing damage by vandals costs the school district thousands of dollars each year.