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?

WRONG!

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