Mural Of George Washington That “Traumatizes Students” To Be Covered Up

Friday, June 21, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Jennifer Kabbany via The College Fix,
Fri, 06/21/2019

There’s plans in the works to cover a mural of George Washington from the halls of George Washington High School in San Francisco due to complaints that it’s offensive and demeaning to Native Americans and African Americans.

The San Francisco school board is expected to decide next week whether to cover the image or paint over it, but there’s no plans among top officials to leave the imagery in the open for students to view, according to several Bay Area news reports.

Board members appear to agree with a working group’s determination that the mural “traumatizes students and community members.” The “Life of Washington” mural, which consists of 13 panels, was painted in 1936. One of the images involves Washington gesturing toward a group of explorers who are walking by the body of a presumably deceased Native American. Another depicts Washington next to several slaves performing various types of manual labor.

The three options before the board are to obscure the mural with curtains, create acoustic panels to cover it up, or paint over it; each option would costs anywhere from 300,000 to $800,000 to complete, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe told the Chronicle the mural is “huge and complicated,” and that even though it consists of only a couple of controversial images the board’s decision will impact the entire fresco.

About 100 people packed the recent school board meeting to weigh in on the issue, many of whom spoke against covering the mural up.

“We should be teaching about the mural and what it means. I’m half native American. I have no problem with the mural. It depicts what happened,” said one mural proponent, reports FOX KTVU 2.

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