The Hartford Courant reports the cover-up happened at Oliver Ellsworth School in Windsor on Election Day (Nov. 8) by the request of Ellsworth Principal Ronda Lezberg for a new mural on behalf of student achievement in math. With the school closed on Election Day, administrators used the day so no staff or students would be exposed to harmful odors. School Superintendent Craig Cooke apologized in a statement about the incident claiming the “timing for the replacement of this mural could not have been worse.”
The painting seen above was created in 2009 to commemorate the nation’s first African-American President as well as other moments like The Iraqi War and the recession. Students also signed the wall and left inspiring notes. On Tuesday (Nov. 15), parents voiced their opinions about the incident at a school board meeting. “You washed away history. That’s not acceptable,” Jennifer Schumsky said. “I don’t know of a painting project that happens at a school in the middle of the year,” Ayana Taylor, the mother a kindergartner added. “The timing is very convenient and weird.”
Cooke said the school is considering a recreation of the artwork in canvas form in the same area. He added it would be nearly impossible to replace everything on the mural since many of the students who signed graduated and no longer live in the area. The artist behind the painting was a former substitute art teacher and a short blurb on the mural will be included.
Some parents also dropped suggestions on creating the piece in every school in the district. The school’s principal has not publicly commented on the mishap.