San Diego Unified School District

San Diego Students Cover Neighborhood Graffiti With Uplifting Messages After Learning About MLK

Central Elementary students' hand-drawn posters cover graffiti on a fence near 41st Street and Polk Avenue in City Heights, across the street from their school

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Teacher Laura Oliver shared images to Facebook Friday of uplifting artwork her students at Central Elementary made to cover vandalism in the neighborhood.

"The students of Central Elementary are tired of seeing graffiti around their neighborhood and on the walls of their school. This has been happening for years," Oliver wrote. "After learning about Martin Luther King Jr., today they decided they too could use their voices just as he did."

The students wrote uplifting messages and drew pictures asking whoever was behind the graffiti, to stop.

One students' poster read, "The time is always right to do what is right," and had a marker-drawn spray paint can with a line through it.

"In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends," read another poster transcribing one of Dr. Matrin Luther King's quotes. This quote was surrounded by pictures of butterflies, flowers and a rainbow.

A third student's poster reads, "Stay Calm and STOP The Griffiti it's not good."

Photos: Central Elementary Students Cover Neighborhood Graffiti With Uplifting Messages

“Within the time I’ve been here, graffiti is one of those things I’ve seen more often than not," neighborhood resident Adrian Salinas told NBC 7. "I walk this route when I do my exercise and everything and it's the colors that caught my eye and I was like, ‘oh what is that?’

Kristen Stacy, fourth grade teacher at Central elementary, said the students' “energy was palpable, they were just so engaged, and they wanted to really make a difference. And they wanted their voices to be heard."

Oliver added in her social media post that the students "peacefully let the uninvited artists know that it's not OK to deface property that doesn't belong to you."

She added that "This may not seem like a big deal to some but it is for the kids and families who have to look at the corner of where their school resides."

Oliver also added a disclaimer that the students' artwork was added to the fence with permission from the homeowner.

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