Some parents are expressing their frustration after a Michigan elementary and middle school reportedly removed images of well-known and revered historical figures and replaced them with paintings of author J.K. Rowling, Oprah, Maya Angelou, Walt Disney and President Barack Obama.
Among the individuals who were previously on the wall at South Arbor Charter Academy in Ypsilanti, Michigan? Flag maker Betsy Ross, scientist Albert Einstein, astronauts, Gandhi and Mother Teresa, among other national and international figures.
But now some parents are speaking out against the changes, claiming that the historical figures known for monumental accomplishments have now been replaced by mere "celebrities."
"This is no longer a hall of heroes," parent Craig Bergman told conservative commentator Todd Starnes. "Now we have a hall of celebrities."
Craig Bergman/Todd Starnes
Berman's fear is that the definition of a hero will be profoundly changed in the eyes of the children who attend the school. Talent, alone, he said doesn't automatically make someone heroic. Another parent, Todd Holliday, agrees.
"My biggest concern is my kid seeing these murals for the next four years – thinking they represent what a hero is," he said. "They might be successful business people but they aren’t really heroes."
South Arbor Charter Academy spokeswoman Jennifer Hoff told Starnes that the paintings were changed out in an effort to highlight "modern-day heroes."
"Heroes Hall has been a part of the school’s fabric for years. In fact, the old mural had been on the wall for at least 11 years," Hoff said. "As with all things over time, it was showing its age from the activities of being an active school and needed some repair."
But Berman said that the old mural was well-balanced, with the new array of photos not necessarily accomplishing the same goal.
"Previously, it was very well-balanced and respected a lot of different thoughts. Instead, it’s become more of a political issue," he told Starnes. "There’s definitely a certain genre of pictures here."
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(H/T: Fox News/Todd Starnes)