Artwork painted on ceiling tiles at a high school in Hailey, Idaho has sparked outrage among conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump, according to Idaho Mountain Express.
The ceiling tiles were painted by students in Advanced Placement classes as an optional extra-credit assignment at Wood River High School.
One tile that has drawn attention is a representation of Barack Obama’s “hope” campaign poster. Nearby is a similar tile featuring Trump and the word “nope.” Another says: “Keep Calm and Overthrow Your Government.”
Glenneda Zuiderveld, a former Republican candidate for an Idaho House seat, drew attention to the artwork in a Facebook post earlier this month.
“If this isn’t evidence that there is more indoctrination than education going on,” Zuiderveld wrote.
“I have no words for this,” one Facebook commenter remarked. “This makes my heart hurt…that our country has gone this far off track and there is no push back,” another complained.
One commenter suggested notifying the Department of Homeland Security.
“Petition of Remonstrance. Public School cannot Commit the crime of Libel. Defamation of character. Overthrow our government? That’s an act of Treason. Shut that whole school down,” another person commented.
Idaho House Education Committee Chairman Lance Clow demanded a response from Blaine County School District Superintendent Gwen Carol Holmes.
Holmes, however, said that students decided for themselves what to depict.
“The students have to justify why their topic resonated with them. I am sorry that the person posting the pictures didn’t take time to note that there are tiles of all persuasions and viewpoints,” she explained.
Principal John Pearce also emphasized that the artwork included a variety of viewpoints.
“They can come at it from any direction,” he told Idaho Mountain Express. “It’s their choice—it’s very student led. Any number might be considered conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. When you’re talking about classes at the AP level, you’re building on high-order thinking processes.
“These kids are sharp. They have their own ideas—they’re not just vessels being filled. They’re taking things from their homes, from their communities, and bringing it into the classroom. They can’t help but be topical,” Pearce added.
But Zuiderveld is still a critic. “Justifying is just a feeling,” she wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “Why do they feel Obama gave hope , Trump is a nope, or they think they must overthrow the government or why they chose Abraham Lincoln? Where is the research and footnotes that give them this opinion?… This is more than art and the teacher and schools know it.”