January 12, 2015 2:00 pm
Updated: January 12, 2015 9:31 pm

Calgary Catholic school spray-painted with gang graffiti

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CALGARY – Police are looking for suspects after gang symbols were found spray-painted on a Calgary Catholic school.

Over the weekend, walls and windows at John Costello School were covered with graffiti depicting the name of a notoriously violent international criminal group.

Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, is said to have started in Los Angeles before spreading across North and Central America.

The gang has also been known to recruit school-aged children as young as ten-years-old.

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However, Calgary police say it’s unlikely the vandals are affiliated with any gangs, and instead believe they were simply youth on a graffiti spree.

Investigators say it’s not believed the school was specifically targeted or threatened.

Despite this, some students and parents who arrived at the school on Monday morning said the vandalism made them feel uneasy.

“It’s really disappointing that somebody would do something like that,” said parent John Rhudin. “I know my kids were pretty upset this morning, especially my daughter.”

“It’s dumb, it’s a waste… it’s sad.”

“I feel very safe, except when this happens,” said student Makenna Rhuden.

The Calgary Catholic School District says efforts to remove the vandalism are underway.

They are working with police on the investigation, and will be sending home a letter with students discussing the incident.

John Costello School in Strathcona Park was targeted by graffiti vandals.

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