KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) - Kimberly senior Isabella Brown came back to her desk in technology class Tuesday to find a racial slur written on the desk.
"When seeing this basically to me was kind of a shock," said Isabella.
The school suspended the student who wrote the word for five days, and the Fox Valley Police Department has opened an investigation.
The incident hasn't stopped Isabella from voicing her message of positive change, including speaking to that same technology class Thursday.
"I was able voice my opinion and voice how I felt about it, and I want to be able to make a difference,” Isabella said. “That's just something I strive to do in life."
She believes in order to grow as a community, discussion and awareness on racial issues need to take place -- even if that can be uncomfortable.
"Let’s let that uncomfortable-ness bring us forward,” this high school senior said. “Let’s not have it drag us back."
A Fox Cities community member who works to create a celebration of diversity says the incident shows the need to be proactive.
"We do have to acknowledge that this still exists,” Eben Grisby said. “That it still happens and that there's still a need for education, there's still a need for outreach, there's still a need for critical thinking."
But a classmate of Isabella's, Tianna Buxton, says their peers need to be conscious of their actions.
"You could have been raised that way,” Tianna said. “You could have heard it in a song, in a movie, it could be anything, and I think you make the decision as an individual to decide whether or not you're going to be prejudiced."
Isabella will continue to be a smiling face, while offering these simple tips:
"Be kind you know, be respectful to others," she said.