HELENA – The East Helena School district ordered workers to remove a design on the new high school that upset some residents.
The design showed black gun silhouettes pointed to a cowboy-type figure on the side of the under-construction school building.
MTN News was sent a photo from a resident who found the mural disturbing.
The viewer declined to be interviewed but was concerned about the message it could send in light of recent school shootings and gun violence.
According to East Helena Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer the design was created by a subcontractor working on the school and is meant to represent the school’s mascot, the Vigilante.
“It just was not correct. It was not the right thing, and we recognized that,” Whitmoyer said, “And I apologize for that, to anyone who was offended, that was uncalled for and inappropriate, and we fixed it immediately.”
Whitmoyer also told MTN News that the image was not approved by the district, and when he was made aware of the mural, within 15 minutes, workers were directed to paint over it.
Whitmoyer says the image would have been removed even if no one had objected to it.
The East Helena High School is expected to be completed in time for the start of fall classes in 2020.
-Christine Sullivan reporting for MTN News