Outrage erupted at a Kentucky high school after several parents found anti-police artwork on display in their children’s classroom.
According to a report by WLKY, the artwork was the product of an honors English class assignment at North Oldham High School. Students were asked to read To Kill A Mockingbird, then draw pictures showing what they believed to be social injustice.
The artwork that sparked the outrage depicts a Klu Klux Klan member in 1930 about to shoot a black man alongside a picture of a police officer shooting a black child in 2015. It was drawn by a student in a previous year’s class.
But some parents and local residents haven’t accepted this response and are calling for the images to be taken down.
“I do think it’s a little dramatic, and right now it is a very touching time to have something like that come up,” said David Byrd. “They risk their lives for this job and our communities. Cops aren’t killers, they defend our safety. That’s my opinion about it.”
One of the parents upset about the artwork is David Hamblin, a local police offer. His daughter is a student in the class.
“My daughter is not unlike other children of first responders. Hamblin posted on Facebook. “She fears for my safety every day, and believes me to be a man of honesty and courage. What this propaganda creates, are future cop haters, which endanger me, and 800,000 other courageous protectors.”
“When I saw it, I could see immediately why [my daughter] didn’t feel comfortable with it, because I didn’t feel comfortable with it,” Hamblin told WDRB in an interview Wednesday. “It’s comparing a race-based ideology, or the KKK, to that of professional workers who serve their country day-in and day-out. There’s propaganda and there’s the First Amendment. They’re two different things, especially in a government-run classroom.”
North Oldham High School responded to the concerns with the following statement. “We believe that our role as educators is to prepare our kids for the world beyond the classroom, and sometimes things are going to be controversial,” said Tracy Green, the director of communications for Oldham County Schools.
“They’re pictures about social injustice, so I would assume they’re a little offensive to a lot of people, because we’re talking about a controversial issue,” Green continued.
While the school says it understands the anger, and that these images are in no way meant to diminish the service police perform, the images will not be coming down.