Seniors at Lubbock-Cooper High School in Texas have been allowed to paint reserved parking spaces in the school parking lot for the past four years before classes start in August.
“TRUMP 2020” is still barely visible, but now messages like “#BLM,” “#POC” and “#SAVETheChildren” are written all over it.
“My son and several of his friends spent over $750 painting their parking spots,” a parent of one of the students said.
Lubbock-Cooper ISD officials say they will seek to prosecute any individual responsible for destroying or defacing school property. Read the full story here>> https://t.co/Oih5Fvgcfh
— KCBD NewsChannel11 (@KCBD11) August 17, 2020
“They spent eight hours creating this. Their spaces have been completely vandalized and all boys have been threatened.”
At least one other spot with a Trump theme was vandalized, and one Trump-themed spot was not.
Lubbock-Cooper High School officials said “the district will seek to prosecute any individual responsible for destroying or defacing school property,” KCBD reported.
Allowing seniors to paint parking spaces before the start of their school year is a common practice at high schools across the country.
“Students pay for this opportunity and provide their own supplies, no part of this is funded by the school district,” Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District Superintendent Keith Bryant said in a statement to KCBD.
He added that all parking space designs are approved before they are allowed to be painted.
The designs must follow certain guidelines — they can’t contain profanity, vulgar images or references to illegal activity — but political statements are not prohibited.
“The idea behind the parking lot painting project is to encourage students’ creativity and allow them another outlet to express their personality and thoughts,” Bryant said.
“Political statements have been a fairly common theme among parking lot spaces each year, without issue.”
Sadie Alderson, the director of public information for Lubbock-Cooper ISD, said the district is investigating the situation.
“We have students and staff with differing political beliefs; and we expect those beliefs to be respected and valued. As United States citizens, we have the freedom to disagree with one another, but it is completely unacceptable (and illegal) to vandalize property in disagreement,” Bryant said.
“As a public school district, we have an obligation to protect not only our students, but their rights.”
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