MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair parents are raising concerns about whether an anti-gun violence mural painted by recent Montclair High School graduates is appropriate for children to see.
The new mural entitled, "Never Again," located under the train trestle on Chestnut Street, has sparked debate among neighbors, who think the images may be too graphic for students to see.
The images painted on the mural show the silhouetted images of six students wearing backpacks. Some of the backpacks have bullseye targets on them and others have flowers growing out of them.
Signed by Montclair High School graduates, May Li and Aneekah Uddin, the project was done under the supervision of teachers at Montclair High School's Civics and Government Institute with approval from New Jersey Transit officials, who own the overpass.
Lin said that she doesn't want school to be a place of fear, but instead, safety. She added that art is an avenue for students to express themselves stating, "We don't have the right to vote, and art is a place we can express ourselves."
Community members have been stopping to view the mural, many in support of the message. However, some parents have taken to social media to voice concerns over the proximiy of the mural to schools.
The mural site is located down the street from the Montclair Cooperative School, Renaissance Middle School, and enroute to Montclair High School's Woodman Field. Therefore, parents have raised concerns about the message the images will send to children.
Communications Director for New Jersey Transit, Jim Smith, said that the mural had been pre-approved. He said, "NJ Transit supports anti-violence messages.”