From the Chico Enterprise-Record:
Wildflower students linked to graffiti in Bidwell Park
Recent graffiti in Bidwell Park was at the hands of students from a Chico charter school as part of a lesson on civic engagement and activism.
Seventh- and eighth-graders at Wildflower Open Classroom on Cohasset Road have been involved with an anti-fracking campaign and are among those planning to take part in a rally in Oakland on Saturday. On Monday, students and some staff members vandalized parts of lower park with anti-fracking messages and advertisements for the weekend rally.
School site director Tom Hicks said Thursday that the vandalism was an unfortunate error in judgment related to the middle school students’ studies in civic engagement and activism. Earlier in the year, they selected fracking as a topic and became engaged with the issue.
After research into ways to put their ideas in motion, students decided to use sidewalk chalk and stencils to get their message out, including making their own biodegradable chalk. The activity in the park took place after school Monday with students and staff.
“Unfortunately there was some miscommunication and then error in judgment on our behalf by doing this in the park,” Hicks said. “At this point we are working with the parks department to rectify the situation and making every effort to turn this into a learning experience for everybody involved.”
On the students’ Facebook page, they explain they have decided to take a stand against fracking. They are helping Frack-Free Butte County organize a bus to the March for Real Climate Leadership and raise awareness through a community art project and outreach.
The March for Real Climate Leadership is expected to attract thousands of people to Oakland, where participants will call on Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking and push for 100 percent renewable energy. A bus of local people is leaving from Butte College at 7 a.m.
The whole story is here: http://www.chicoer.com/general-news/20150205/wildflower-students-linked-to-graffiti-in-bidwell-park
I don’t buy the explanation, because what is missing is an apology. They knew what they were doing, they knew they’d get press; it’s just another dishonest tactic by people that have no scruples, who are brainwashing the minds of children to push their own political agenda. Shame on Wildflower School.
Given the sort of hateful aberrations we’ve seen in the UK on fracking, as reported by Bishop Hill, I suppose this isn’t surprising behavior. It suggests to me though, that the people that do these things are a slice short of having cheese on their cracker.
I wonder though, if Chico had email addresses for each tree in Bidwell Park, such as what was recently revealed for the City Park trees in Melbourne, Australia, what would the tree write back?
Here is what I think the tree might say in an email in the flavor of one recently sent in Melbourne:
To: Wildflower School, Chico
Subject: Vandalism at the hands of your students
“Dear School Administrators,
I’m writing to tell you that I’m shocked that a school that emphasizes Stewardship in it’s guiding principles…
Being the example you wish to see. Caring for people, environment (school and Earth), and our community with the joint goal of prosperity and success. As stewards we provide service to others and the environment by using resources productively and with good intentions. We teach and practice eco-awareness and connectivity to our planet.
…would purposely and with no regard for me and the people that enjoy my peaceful beauty would abandon such principles for a cheap political trick to get attention.
People that walk through the park want the beauty and tranquility of nature, not graffitti from people with apparently no regard for the trees that provide that experience.
Shame, shame, shame, on you.
Enjoy your day. Yours sincerely, Tree 1441724.”
UPDATE: Predictably, a few foolhardy apologists cry foul in comments saying that because they used “biodegradable chalk” on the trees “they did nothing wrong”.
If it were a PRO fracking message, done with “biodegradeable chalk”, those same people would have a COW over it.
Further, they used petroleum based solvent with a freon based propellant spray chalk paint elsewhere to paint political messages like this one:
For those who want to defend this inane action and complain about this article, feel free to be as upset as you wish.