An elementary school in Tennessee has removed a mural that had been displayed on the walls of their gymnasium. The mural depicted the Confederate flag and a disturbing image of a person hanging from a tree.
South Cumberland Elementary School became the source of a viral Facebook post when the janitor of a nearby school, David Clark, shared the images on social media, CNN reports.
In addition to the massive confederate flag prominently displayed on the gym's walls, there was also a painted scene that depicted a boy dressed in red, carrying another confederate flag over his shoulder as he looked to a boy dressed in blue who appeared to be hanging from a tree branch. The words "Rebel Barracks" are displayed beneath the disturbing scene, and despite the mural's blatantly racist connotations, it was explained as intending to "depict athletic team rivalry."
Clark had been complaining about the mural to school officials, but after months of inaction he took his complaints online to share the racially insensitive images with the public. "No action has been planned or taken as of today so I am asking people to call and let them know in a respectful manner, how you feel about these racist symbols being on full public display where children can see them," Clark said in his post.
In a matter of 24 hours, Clark's Facebook post blew up, with over 400 shares and hundreds of passionate comments arguing for or against the mural; and just like that the mural had been painted over. The school's principal, Darrell Threet gave a terse statement in response to the mural's deconstruction. "Concerns regarding graphics in our gymnasium have been dealt with by removing the rebel flags painted on the wall, and by modifying the mural on the wall as well," Threet said.