Michigan parents are infuriated that the “Hall of Heroes” mural depicting historical figures at South Arbor Charter Academy has been replaced with paintings of Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and other celebrities.
South Arbor Charter Academy in Ypsilanti, Michigan, removed the likes of Albert Einstein, Betsy Ross, Gandhi, astronauts, Mother Teresa, and other accomplished historical figures and replaced their images with those of Oprah, Obama, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and J.K. Rowling.
“This is no longer a hall of heroes. Now we have a hall of celebrities,” South Arbor Charter Academy parent Craig Bergman told the media.
School representative Jennifer Hoff said the hall of heroes mural was changed to highlight “modern-day heroes.”
Hoff added, “Heroes Hall has been a part of the school’s fabric for years. In fact, the old mural had been on the wall for at least 11 years. As with all things over time, it was showing its age from the activities of being an active school and needed some repair.”
The Michigan elementary school parent went on to say that he is concerned that the children will not think that talent alone makes someone heroic.
“My biggest concern is my kid seeing these murals for the next four years thinking they represent what a hero is,” fellow South Arbor Charter Academy parent Todd Holliday added.
Berman also feels that the old hall of heroes mural was “well-balanced.” and the new version does not appear to accomplish the same theme.
“Previously, it was very well-balanced and respected a lot of different thoughts. Instead, it’s become more of a political issue. There’s definitely a certain genre of pictures here. I want someone who made a life investment – perhaps they even sacrificed their life – so that our society and so our world could be a better place.”
When asked why the South Arbor Charter Academy principal did not just opt to have an artist touch-up the existing images on the hall of heroes mural, Bergman said the school official told him a “blue-ribbon” panel was selected to choose new heroes. The Michigan elementary school principal reportedly hand-picked four staff members for the hall of heroes mural panel. According to Craig Bergman, parental involvement did not exist, and once the panel members made their selections, the principal alone approved the new honorees.
The Michigan school spokeswoman maintains that the hall of heroes is meant to emphasize the school culture which is built upon virtues which highlight “wisdom, respect, gratitude, self-control, courage, compassion, integrity, perseverance, and encouragement.” Hoff added that President Obama shows “encouragement” to the South Arbor Charter Academy students.
What do you think about the hall of heroes mural changes? Who would you want to see on a similar mural at your child’s school?
[Image via: Craig Bergman/Todd Starnes/The Blaze]