Should Cheyenne Keep the Mural in the 200 Hallway?

Published 9.25.17; Updated 9.26.17


Photo by Briana R.

The mural in Cheyenne’s 200 hallway that was painted in the 2011-2012 school year.

Carlos P & Briana R, Staff Writers

Six years ago, a mural in the 200s hallways was painted by students, but after it was completed, many people questioned the stylistic choice.


Ms. Smith is a government teacher who has been working at Cheyenne for several years. She was present at an empowerment meeting, which took place about six years ago, where staff and parents discussed the addition of a mural to the school. She explained that the main reason for creating a mural was to stop students from writing graffiti. She added, “The compromise was that the mural would stay because administrators wanted to see if it stopped students from tagging.”


Many members of the school community, including teachers and parents, were upset that the stylistic choice of graffiti was used in our school, while other schools have murals that are more professional.


Ms. Smith summarized the thoughts of the community. “It was offensive. Back then, Cheyenne had a reputation of being a school that was filled with tagging when it wasn’t. Second, it served no educational purpose.”


Because the mural was made in a tagging style, it was seen in a negative way by many people because graffiti was being used by gangs to claim territory. Additionally, the mural wasn’t like most posters around the school that promoted education.

Some believe that at the heart of the debate over the mural is one philosophical question: Is the mural on the 200 wall simply a contemporary form of artistic expression, or does the mural glorify urban decay?”


While some were troubled by the mural, others saw beauty in it. Students have been known to take pictures in front of the mural, capturing the artwork as a defining characteristic of their Desert Shields experience. For some, to remove or change the mural in the 200 hallway is to deface the history of Cheyenne itself.


Some believe that at the heart of the debate over the mural is an important philosophical question: Is the mural on the 200 wall simply a contemporary, powerful form of artistic expression, or does the mural glorify urban decay?


Ms. Bass, who has been a business teacher at Cheyenne for several years, explained her opinion of the mural. “I don’t think it is reflective of our culture here at school. It was done over 6 years ago, so the seniors who painted it are no longer here. You need to get a mural that reflects who is here now.”


Just as museums change their artwork, it is not uncommon for a community to update or reassess its murals.


Many challenges arose after the mural went up. According to Ms. Smith, after the mural was completed, a number of teachers, parents, and community members disagreed with the final product. “There were complaints; parents went to the Area Superintendents because they wanted the mural down. The students wanted it down, and the people in the community wanted it down,” said Smith.


Dr. Asplund, an art teacher at Cheyenne High School, explained that the mural is more of a creative piece than a flyer promoting education and clubs around the school. He enjoyed seeing the creativity exhibited in the mural, because the students had a certain amount of artistic freedom at that time to create what they wanted.


Dr. Robbins, principal of Cheyenne High School, wants to know your opinion about keeping, updating, or removing the mural. The Clark County Elections Department will bring in voting machines in October to facilitate the vote. Cheyenne students will be able to vote before school, during lunch, or after school. Make sure your voice is heard. What is your opinion? Vote to either keep, update, or remove the mural on the 200 hallway wall!

STRAW POLL! Should Cheyenne Keep, Update, or Remove the Mural in the 200 Hallway

  • Keep the Mural! Don't Touch It! (76%, 188 Votes)
  • Update the Mural! Change It! (21%, 52 Votes)
  • Remove the Mural! Leave the Wall Blank! (3%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 248

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