High School students' mural

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Date: 2001

Region: North America

Subject: Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Painting


Artist: Students at Katherine Anne Porter Charter School, Grady Roper

Confronting Bodies: School officials

Date of Action: June 2001

Location: Wimberly, Texas, USA

Description of Artwork: Roper's students were given permission to paint a 30-by-30 foot mural in one of the school's hallways. The part in question was a 2-by-2 foot section featuring two men kissing.

The Incident: Roper was fired for defending his student's work after it was painted over by order of the school board without consulting Roper or his class and while all eighteen faculty members supported the mural. The school said that he was fired for not being a "team player." The Texas Civil Rights Project suggested that the image of the two men was not "erotic or provocative."

Results of Incident: Roper's attorney is seeking to regain his job, lost wages, attorney fees and a court order prohibiting First Amendment violations on campus. Porter School students were outraged at the school's decision. One student painted the First Amendment on a piece of plywood and left it in the school hallway in protest.

Source: www.splc.org