School hides student mural of 2 boys kissing after complaints

A school northwest of Edmonton is deciding what to do next after a student’s mural featuring two young men kissing was covered up.

'Should you allow same sex couples to have a picture of kissing?’ principal asks

The art teacher and principal originally approved this mural by a student artist. Some students were upset after the school covered it up on Thursday. (CBC)

A school northwest of Edmonton is deciding what to do next after a student’s mural featuring two young men kissing was covered up.

The mural was approved in advance by both the principal and the art teacher at Onoway Jr/Sr High School before it went up in the hallway about one week ago.

The school says it soon received complaints. When students arrived on Thursday morning, the mural was eclipsed by a bulletin board.
Sixteen-year-old Kaela Wilton said she designed the mural to show support for people who are gay, or who are in the closet and scared to come out. (CBC)

"At the time we should have put more thought into the bigger picture," said principal James Trodden.

He said the school does not allow kissing in the hallways, therefore a mural that depicts kissing should not be allowed.

"There are a bunch of issues … What is appropriate? Should it be in a school, should you allow kissing?" he asked.

"Should you allow same sex couples to have a picture of kissing?"

'It's just natural'

Kaela Wilton, 16, said she designed the mural to show support for people who are gay, or people who are in the closet and scared to come out.

“Parents kiss and people on the street. It's just natural,” she said.

“I think it’s because they are two guys that it’s such an impact. We’re not used to seeing people of the same sex kissing.”

Students ripped the bulletin board down to reveal the mural by midday on Thursday.

They did not return to school on Friday because of a scheduled holiday.

The mural remains uncovered for now, but the principal says he and his colleagues have not decided yet if it will stay that way when class is back in session on Monday.  

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