Bettendorf Middle School officials have determined a racial slur found outside the gym was not written by its students.

Last week, a parent reported and emailed images to school officials that showed a racial slur referring to African-Americans written on the GaGa Pit by the gym and football field.

In a statement sent through Director of Communications Celeste Miller, Principal Lisa Reid said the school immediately painted over the slur once it was reported.

"We have a strong process that we have used at BMS for years for reporting and investigating such incidents. We have met with each and every house this year to review this process and the importance of treating each other with respect and dignity," Reid wrote, referring to the houses that students are divided into at the middle school. "In this incident, we believe that this message was not written by BMS students."

Although there were no cameras to capture the incident, Miller said the slur was not present before the boy's football game, which led school officials to the conclusion that it was placed on the night of Sept. 12.

Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington said he had been made aware and shared the same conclusion.

"We do have a officer assigned to Bettendorf Middle School who is aware of this incident," Redington wrote in an email. "He will work with the school administrators to address issues like this. At this time, we do not know who is responsible, but believe it was done at night after Middle School age children would most likely be gone for the day."

— Devan Patel

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