Middle Tennessee elementary school removes Confederate murals depicting hanging

(Submitted to Fox 17 News)

Representatives from the Cumberland County School district said Confederate murals in an elementary school gym were removed on Friday.

A concerned parent reached out to Fox 17 News about the murals in the South Cumberland Elementary School gym. The elementary school's mascot is the rebels.

Photos taken prior to the removal show a large mural of a Confederate flag. Another mural depicted a person wearing blue hanging from a rope in a tree while a person wearing red and holding a Confederate flag stood near by.

Parent David Clark wrote that he had been in touch with the school board about painting over the murals since December, and no action had been taken or planned.

"Germany does not display Nazi symbols," Clark wrote. "This is not heritage, it is racism."

Some Crossville neighbors said they have no problem with the mural.

"It’s part of our heritage and how they were brought up so I just don’t have a problem with flying the rebel flag," Wendy Reed said. "Kid hanging that would bother me, but sometimes I think we just make it bigger than it needs to be."

Others said depictions like that have no place in the school.

"If other people want to put it on their trucks and stuff, that’s fine but not in school," Shay Barrett said. "Fom the tree, now that's gone too far. I’m soft person, but when it comes to that-like in the school it’s not the best thing for kids to see that."

"It is kinda offensive to have somebody hanging like that," Darlene Kessler said.

A representative for the school district said a maintenance order was put in Monday to take care of the murals. The district had scheduled an artist to come paint something else over them, but the artist fell ill so they had to postpone.

It is unclear how long the murals have been on display in the school.

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