Monday, December 10, 2007

Parents complain: Hendrix' words blotted off Toll Gate wall

In Toll Gate High School this week, the halls are abuzz with discussion of the first amendment. But the source of all the discussion cannot be found in any textbook. The thing that has the Titans talking is none other than a freshly painted, off-yellow blank wall. For the past three years, until two weeks ago, the wall held a mural by Toll Gate graduate Sara Barney. The mural featured a picture of a peace sign surrounded by people of all colors holding hands. The caption was a quote by legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who died of a drug overdose in 1970:

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace.” According to Toll Gate Principal Stephen Chrabaszcz, the mural was painted over after parents complained that Hendrix, as a drug user, should not be represented in a public school. Chrabaszcz declined to release the names of the parents who complained, citing that this would open them to unfair attacks.

"I agree with the parents,” Chrabaszcz said in a phone interview. “I just don’t want the kids thinking [Jimi Hendrix] is some great American hero. He was associated with the drug culture and that’s not something I want promoted in my school.” The school has not released a statement about the matter to students and, as of press time, has not yet briefed the faculty. The rumor around the school is that Chrabaszcz intends to replace the mural with the school's mission statement. As one result of the change, sophomore Victoria Hathaway started a petition that has been signed by more than 400 students and many teachers. The petition asks that the mural be recreated and the quote put back. It also demands that future changes be discussed with students and faculty...
Some students have been posting fliers featuring the Hendrix quote in the halls. A satiric reference to it was slipped into the dialogue of this year's school play. One student, Lindsey Lauble, even created a group about the issue on the social networking Web site, Facebook.com. The group is titled “If we can’t learn about Hendrix cuz he did drugs, NO MORE EDGAR ALLEN POE!!” "If we can learn that Edgar Allen Poe was kicked out of college for his alcohol abuse and drug abuse, we should be able to put up a quote that supports peace and love throughout the world,” said Lauble...

Labels: ,

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?