GRANT, Mich. — After a Grant Public Schools board of Education meeting on Monday night, rumors have swirled regarding the future of a mural some parents in the district claim includes "witchcraft".
Some on social media have said the board decided in a closed session to paint over this mural by the end of the week. On Wednesday, Superintendent Brett Zuver cleared the air, saying no decision has been made at this time.
The district released this statement regarding the mural on Wednesday:
At Grant Public Schools, our daily charge is to foster a safe, welcoming learning environment where all students can succeed. We are committed to creating a culture of civility, respect, understanding and inclusion as we provide all our students a well-rounded and academically challenging learning experience.
Recently, one of our students painted a mural in the Child and Adolescent Health Center located in the back of Grant Middle School. This student won a contest to brighten up the building and received approval to paint the proposed mural depicting smiling children and the message “Stay Healthy.”
The completed mural includes some features that were not part of the original submission, and at this week’s Board of Education meeting, many community members raised concerns about the mural. This matter was not on the board agenda. What to do moving forward does not require a board vote, no vote was taken, and no final decision was made at that time.
We understand and recognize there are different opinions regarding the mural. We feel it is of the utmost importance to continue in a thoughtful, respectful, and deliberate manor. At this point, all parties involved are working together and advancing forward to come to a positive, and agreeable, resolution.
We encourage members of our school community who engage in discussions and debate to do so in a respectful, civil manner. We do not condone, and we will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying whether in word, deed or on social media.
Great things are happening at Grant Public Schools. Let’s work together to remain focused on our mission of preparing all our students to succeed.
The mural in question is in a health center inside Grant Middle School.
It was painted by a high school student who won a contest. Parents are upset over several parts of the mural, including a transgender flag, a mask they say is a picture of Satan and a symbol a few parents said is from witchcraft.
The artist was present at Monday's meeting and explained the mask as a character from a video game she likes. The symbol is the Hamsa hand, an ancient sign of protection in multiple cultures.
She left the room in tears during the meeting after concerned parents claimed she painted the mural with ill intentions. A friend of her family says the teen's parents fear for their daughter's safety in the community.
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