portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

human & civil rights | youth

Wilson Students Forced to Remove Peace Window Paintings

After painting the word "Peace" in the windows of many classrooms at Wilson High School with permission of the teachers, students have been told that they must remove their display.
Wilson High School in Southwest Portland's activism club Students for Social Justice(SSJ) over the past month have painted the windows of many classrooms at the school, using water soluble paints, displaying the word "Peace" in five languages along with doves and peace signs. This was meant to support the non-political idea of peace. After a parent complaint a legal adviser for Portland Public Schools has asked that the display be removed with the reasoning that in allowing the windows to be included in free speech, other messages could be displayed similar to graffiti. While a large portion of Wilson's staff has encouraged the students, the students have agreed to remove the display from the windows as the janitorial staff would be forced to if they did not.

SSJ is still dedicated to the promotion of peace. In response to the request for the removal of the display, a group of students created a poster declaring "Let Peace Be Heard", and after refusal of the administration to allow the poster to be displayed on walls carried the poster during lunch and passing times.

Some pictures 15.Mar.2007 22:02


Forgot to put the pictures in the post.
One of the painted windows.
One of the painted windows.
Students protesting the removal of the window paintings.
Students protesting the removal of the window paintings.

some things never change 16.Mar.2007 07:48


That's the silliest argument I've heard this week, that these harmless peaceful words on a window would cause other students to rampage around, exercising their right to free speech. Like how dare young people think that they're guaranteed such things! One can only hope that this incident radicalizes these thoughtful folks to continue expressing themselves in non-family-friendly-corporate-sponsored-mass-culture-approved ways.

I graduated from Wilson back when the dinosaurs roamed and it was a classist reactionary place that I was happy to leave.

Numbers For Wilson HS 16.Mar.2007 09:12

Buck Fush

The phone numbers for Wilson HS are : 503-916-5280 for the office
503-916-2705 is the fax #
The principal is Sue Brent ..her phone # and extension # are 503-916-5280 extension 455

Whatever your opinion on this , it maight be a good idea to voice it to them. If ONE parent got this shut down , they must not be getting much input from the others......

Keep it up 16.Mar.2007 09:41

glad to see young activists

I'm very happy to see that these young people are dedicated to promoting peace, and that they peacefully complied with the absurd request for removal. I'm also very glad that after they were told that they couldn't hang the banner they still display it when they can.

Millions of people live in fear of authority, maintained by a relative handfull. If these people would only be courageous enough to live their lives as they want and do what is right, they would see that they, in their numbers, truly have the authority. The United States, post-1776, has never been a Democracy. Democracy is not asking permission of a few, it is rule by the masses.

It is high time people and communities start living just lives without fear of reprisal. Keep up the good work.

Maybe they need stickers.... 16.Mar.2007 14:06

V & G

 vic_pittman@hotmail.com ..... if you Wilson radicals would like some free peace sign stickers just give us a holler. We are also open to ideas for stickers... ( we have a sticker machine )

To Wilson Students: 18.Mar.2007 11:44


Bravo! You give me hope! There wasn't activism like this when I was in school, so I hope hunger for social justice continues spreading in all directions, including into the schools!
You're absolutely in the right, and I will stand by you against your administration if they give you further problems: they don't stand a chance againt the Portland community, your parents, and of course our radical lawyer community!

Never back down on issues like this!