RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — Two 14-year-old high school students are facing felony vandalism charges for allegedly spraying offensive graffiti at a Rancho Cordova elementary school.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office says the graffiti was found on the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School campus back on Feb. 15.

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Obscenities, racial epithets, the lettering “KKK,” and swastikas were found spray painted.

“It’s sickening both that the perpetrators are 14-year-olds,” explained Sacramento City Unified liaison Mark Harris. “You have to have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of hate speech, discriminatory speech or conduct that is just beyond any level of debate.”

More than $400 in damage was done by the vandals, authorities said.

Using video surveillance footage, the sheriff’s office says they identified two teenage suspects who were on campus at the same time the vandalism is believed to have happened. The pair were also soon identified as 14-year-olds from nearby George Washington Carver High School.

“While the identification of those involved provides some closure, the impact of racist acts leaves lasting hurt for our students, staff and community,” said Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar in a statement.

While the district decides the next steps, the teens are not allowed to return to school. Harris said officials are deciding on if the students should be suspended or expelled.

“Part of our jobs as educators is to show these young people the error in their behavior,” he explained. “It’s up to us to explain context of why it was wrong and to try to give them an appropriate level of new empathy, hopefully, feeling the effects of what they did and putting them in a position where they will never do anything like this again.”

Community activist Berry Accuis called on school officials in a February press conference to take action after a string of racist incidents across the district.

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“You are not going to be able to change the culture in one day, but at the same time, you can change the policies,” he explained.

He added, “When folks know running around that I cannot do this because this will happen and on top of that ‘I’ll get caught,’ there will be a change in attitude, a change in direction in those misguided individuals.”

Both teenagers were given citations for felony vandalism, the sheriff’s office says, and they now have court dates pending. According to Attorney Justin Ward, the teens could also hate crime charges among other additions.

“The hate crime laws are designed to prevent this exact type of action,” he explained. “They could be charged with commercial burglary because they entered onto the campus with the intent to commit a felony on those school grounds.”

Regardless of their actual conviction, Ward said the teens’ consequences will be less severe as minors.

“They are realistically looking at community service or juvenile work project,” said Ward. “If they were adults, for instance, and the amount was over $400 as in this case, then they could receive a felony and they could receive 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in county prison.”

In a previous similar incident at a district school, the suspect was identified as Black. Harris did not identify the suspect’s in the Abraham Lincoln Elementary case, but he did say they were not Black.

Harris said the district is also looking to provide listening sessions in the future to hear and address students’ concerns to move forward and look toward additional solutions.

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“I think you start with those who are willing to have an open mind and hopefully you pick them up as ambassadors to their peers,” Harris said.