School Destroys Student's Mural for Depicting a Traditional Family

Say What!? 23

muralSheesh. Apparently kids today just can't win, whether they're conservative, liberal, or anywhere in between. Seventeen-year-old Liz Bierendy, a student at Pilgrim High School in Rhode Island, was assigned to paint a mural meant to "depict the life of a man."

So what did she paint? A perfectly acceptable, inoffensive scene showing the various phases of a boy's life -- as a toddler playing with blocks, a bigger boy with a guitar, a teen wearing a baseball cap ... all the way through graduation and ending with the boy as a man with a wife and son.

See what I mean? Perfectly acceptable and inoffensive, right?


Bierendy's mural was apparently SO offensive that the school decided to paint over it! On what grounds, you ask?

Apparently, “some of the members of the Pilgrim High School community suggested that the depiction of a young man’s development from boyhood through adulthood as displayed may not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School.”

Yeah. That was my reaction, too.

So let me get this straight: Kids are just as likely to get in trouble for aligning themselves with "mainstream" lifestyle choices as they are with "alternative" ideas (i.e., the "Jesus is not a homophobe" t-shirt kid)? What are they supposed to do, exactly? As the saying goes, you can't please all of the people all of the time. Maybe we should amend that to "You can't please any of the people any of the time."

If I was Liz Bierendy's mom, I'd be furious right now. The school's response to her mural is no different from censorship in any other form (apart from the fact that it was a bit unexpected). Particularly because I'm not sure what life lesson, if any, can even be extracted from this unjust, unpleasant experience. What's the take-home message? Besides "people are idiots."

I hope Liz Bierendy becomes a famous artist one day, that's all I have to say. Because this experience should inspire her to make one hell of an offensive mural.

Why do you think the school destroyed this mural?


Image via Ed Yourdon/Flickr

news, school, issues


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

ashjo85 ashjo85

Political correctness: the notion that you can pick up a turd by the clean end.

kebates kebates

I don't think it's right, but I have a hard time believing the school had no idea ahead of time what she was going to paint.  Most schools would probably have the student(s) have their idea/design approved first.  Its too bad all her hard work was for nothing.  Just shows, you can't make anyone happy.

nonmember avatar myfish

Ha! That's hilarious! Now they know how it feels!

Todd Vrancic

WTF?  How is this mural offensive?  Did she depict a scene of violence?  I am heterosexual, but I would not find a depiction of two men or two women in a home setting offensive.  Who says art has to depict everyone's experience all the time?  That would be impossible anyway.

Kathryn Marie Precious

The school had to have knowledge of her idea for the mural so I am guessing they just backed down because some "Pilgrim High School community" did not like it. She worked so hard and to have it wiped away is all kinds of wrong. I didn't see anything wrong with what she painted.

blond... blondie805

I am so sick of the p.c. rhetoric. What has happened to the old fashioned family? Why can't there be a mother, father, and son/daughter? What is wrong with a teen man growing into a healthy, value filled man? I am proud of this young girl and would love to see more of her work. Great going!

Trini... TrinitiStar

This is just more proof of how idiotic people have become.

Nicho... NicholasMama608

If she had drawn him as a businessman they could say the same thing!  Not all male students will be businessman or play guitar or marry a woman or marry a man or be a single widowed father  or be a dad with only visitation rights, or have a son or daughter or any children at all.  It's impossible to dictate ALL the possible outcomes.  Leave it to the Warwick school district to be morons about it.  I hated when I was in school there.

Emily Kroeker

So if she painted him being taken away in a police car that would be better? Or dead from an OD or beating up his pregnant girlfriend?

BusyM... BusyMom7789

Funny E.K. I swear I was thinking the same thing.

1-10 of 23 comments 123 Last