This past summer, a well-known and well-liked student mural promoting inclusion was covered by a new banner as part of a culture/branding initiative by Forest Hills.
Community awareness of the action occurred around the time of the 2023-2024 Nagel Open House, and since that time, members of our group have been advocating for the relocation of the banner to allow the student-painted artwork to remain as a symbol of acceptance for all Nagel students.
Today, students have informed us that when they arrived to Nagel this morning, the banner had been removed (as seen below) in what appears to be an unauthorized manner.
Advocate FHSD leadership and members categorically do not condone the destruction of school property at any time, for any reason. At the same time, it is a reasonable and logical conclusion that the act to hide the mural has clearly impacted students, some very personally.
While we acknowledge aggression and physical acts are not the best way to resolve issues, it is clear that the decision to cover the mural will continue to negatively affect students, and there exists a very simple solution - listening to the students asking to allow the inclusive mural to remain visible.
Students in Turpin's GSA independently wrote the district administration, asking for the mural to be moved further signaling the impact to them personally, as well as the apparent miscalculation of the administration regarding potential negative impact to students.
We will continue to encourage district administrators to replace the banner on a different wall and insist they do not cover up this student artwork that is clearly meaningful to many.
If you are so inclined, we suggest an email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to express your thoughts on allowing the mural to remain uncovered, and finding another location for the culture initiative's vinyl banner.
We have also heard that other actions may have been taken today that negatively affect students. We do not yet have evidence to support the claims, so we also ask here: if your student has been asked by a staff member, administrator or board member to remove an article of clothing, sticker, pin, button or keychain because it demonstrates support for one of these celebrated communities shown in the mural by a staff member, administrator or board member, please reach out to us at AdvocateFHSD@gmail.com we would like to hear about the details of the incident.
As a group, Advocate FHSD supports inclusivity and acceptance of every student's personal identity, religion and community of origin – whether that identity is theirs alone or one shared by many, we encourage understanding and acceptance.
That support includes students’ expression of their identities in all legally-acceptable forms–including t-shirts, stickers or other symbols that promote a culture of belonging and, we are committed to continue to respectfully advocate on behalf of a welcoming, warm and accepting culture for all of our community's students and staff.
The views and opinions expressed by individuals and entities on this blog are their own and do not reflect the views or positions of AdvocateFHSD.org.
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