A school kid painted a mural to help fellow students feel welcome. Parents said it was ‘satanic’
Parents in Michigan have attacked a high school after claiming a “stay healthy” mural contains hidden LGBTQ+ propaganda, alongside satanic imagery and witchcraft.
The mural, at Grant Middle School, was painted by a local high schooler after they won a competition held by the school, reports NPR.
But parents have claimed the theme of the painting is a subversive anti-Christian message.
It includes the colours of the LGBTQ+ and trans flag.
During a school board meeting, a man said the mural was discriminatory against Christian beliefs, and that it was “hate material”.
Another woman demanded the school introduce more counsellors, arguing that children at the school needed their minds to be fixed.
“When adults pretend things that are like real life, it’s a mental illness. We need counsellors. We need medication that’s going to help bipolar disorder. Fix their brains,” she said.
The artist, who faced the angry parents personally, tried to put fears to rest, saying: “I put my artwork up there to make people feel welcomed.”
She explained the “satanic mask” parents were furious about in the mural was actually a video-game reference, and that the hands were a symbol of protection in Latino culture.
But the parents accused her of scheming and including images designed to be sinister, leading to the artist leaving the meeting in tears.
Some students spoke up in favour of the artwork, saying it helped them feel included. In the meeting, they told parents: “Maybe you should be more concerned with your children’s behaviours instead of what art is on the wall.”
Even other parents were on the side of the artist, with one self-described “conservative, right-wing, gun-loving” mother lashing out at the others for attacking a child artist.
“I’ve never seen more bigoted people in my life,” she said.
School hits back at ‘harassment and bullying’
After another meeting, it was decided that the LGBTQ+ mural will be altered so the mask and hands are not visible.
The characters in Pride-flag shirts will remain.
Grant Public School issued a statement shortly after, saying: “We are committed to promoting civility, respect, understanding and inclusion.
“We do not condone, and we will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying whether in word, deed or on social media.”
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