OAK PARK, Ill. — A historic mural of white children playing outside in the winter has been removed from a suburban middle school.
Officials at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park say the depression-era mural doesn’t reflect the diversity at the school.
The push to remove the mural began in February, when students expressed frustration at what they called an atmosphere of exclusion, and cited the mural as an example.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the school’s principal announced the removal in an email sent to school staff Monday.
“I have had students approach me pointing out that this picture does not represent our student body or the diversity of Oak Park,” Principal Todd Fitzgerald wrote. “We will be working with the Social Justice Club and our parent Diversity Committee to create a mural/canvas that better represents Julian Middle School.”
A local historian called the removal of the mural a “modern-day book burning.”
The mural, called “Child and Sports–Winter,” has been in the school since 2002.