H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Sep 24, 2012 9:27 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Local victim of hate crime takes a stand

The investigation is moving forward into whoever is responsible for what's being called "hate crimes" targeting the Mission Prep High School athletic director.

Bailey Brown, who is openly gay, says her car was vandalized outside her home in the Spring, spraypainted with homophobic slurs.

Since then, two more similar vandalism attacks drew more attention, this time on the Mission Prep Campus.

The FBI and the San Luis Obispo Police Department are teaming up on the investigation, but still have no suspects.

Now, after a third incident of anti-gay graffiti on campus, which police cannot confirm is related, Brown says it's time to take a stand.

She made it clear to KSBY she's not speaking on behalf of the school, but as a citizen concerned for her safety.

"I'm speaking out now for my own personal need to be better," Brown said.

For months, fear has kept her moving.

"I feel, sort of, lost a little bit."

It's a fear that started one Spring morning when she woke up to an attack on her personal life.

"My car in front of my home was vandalized with apparently an ice pick, green spray paint, all my tires were slashed, my car, the sides of my doors, my hood, my windshield."

Then, exactly one month later, a similar attack appeared at work.

Four areas of the Mission Prep High School campus were graffitied with homophobic slurs.

"It took my knees out from underneath me," she said. "I really wasn't expecting something this drastic or violent."

That's when police advised her to move out of her home- that the attacks were becoming increasingly aggressive.

But the school says they've been able to turn a negative into a positive.

"... In the classrooms, teachers are using the incidents to remind them that our response to a big-picture hateful act is to respond interpersonally with more care and sensitivity," Warren Hoy, spokesperson for the local Catholic school, said.

Meanwhile, Brown spent the summer months staying with friends.

She says she's hesitant to settle into a new home until that fear subsides.

But, the first step, she says, in making a change is to raise awareness of the issue throughout the community.

"I'm not going to put up with it," she said. "I'm not going to let it affect me any more."

If you have any information on the attacks, contact the San Luis Obispo Police.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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