Teacher Laura Oliver shared images on Facebook on Friday of uplifting artwork her Central Elementary students have made to cover up vandalism in the neighborhood.
“Central Elementary students are sick of seeing graffiti in their neighborhood and on their school walls. This has been happening for years,” Oliver wrote. “After hearing about Martin Luther King Jr. today they decided they too could use their voices like him.”
Students wrote uplifting messages and drew pictures asking whoever was behind the graffiti to stop.
One student’s poster read, “There’s always a time to do what’s right,” and had a spray paint can drawn in marker with a line through it.
“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” reads another poster transcribing one of Dr. Matrin Luther King’s quotes. This quote was surrounded by images of butterflies, flowers and a rainbow.
A third student’s poster reads: ‘Keep calm and STOP the Griffiti, this is no good.’
Photos: Central Elementary students cover neighborhood graffiti with uplifting messages
“Since I’ve been here, graffiti has been one of those things I’ve seen most often,” neighborhood resident Adrian Salinas told NBC 7. “I walk this road when I’m doing my exercise and all and it was the colors that caught my attention and I was like, ‘oh what is this?’
Kristen Stacy, a fourth-grade teacher at Central Elementary, said “the students’ energy was palpable, they were so engaged and they really wanted to make a difference. And they wanted their voice to be heard.”
Oliver added in his social media post that the students “peacefully let uninvited artists know that it is not acceptable to deface property that does not belong to you.”
She added that “this may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is for children and families who have to look around the corner from where their school is.”
Oliver also added a disclaimer stating that student artwork was added to the fence with permission from the owner.