‘Back the blue’ parking space painting covered at Estero High School

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Parking lot painting
Before and after of a ‘back the blue’ painting in a parking space at Estero High School. (Credit: Angela Maria via Facebook)

A parking space painted with ‘Back the blue,’ a saying that supports police officers, was painted, then painted over at Estero High School.

Pictures of the before and after were posted to Facebook, and a lot of people expressed their outrage in the comments.

The painted parking sports is part of a senior year fundraiser where students get to paint their own parking spots.

A senior at Estero High School thought she was doing a good thing. She painted ‘Back the blue’ on her parking spot, but when she showed up at school Monday, ‘Back the blue’ was covered by black paint.

“I think it’s kind of messed up. Honestly, I don’t… I don’t think that the school should, like, really be doing that to people, if they said they could paint the spot. And I felt they could have stopped it while they were doing it, ’cause there’s supervision there while they were painting,” said a junior at Estero High School.

The student paid the $15 as requested, but the School District of Lee County said she failed to submit her design in advance and get the necessary approval. No offensive language or gang symbols were allowed.

“I think they need to be more clear, upfront [about] what’s allowed and what’s not way ahead of time, because I know some people who had designs like that did get shut down, and they just came up with new ones,” said a junior at Estero High School.

In a statement, the district said:

All students participating in the parking spot painting were required to submit a design for pre-approval, check in before painting and then check out so the spot could be inspected. Those procedures were not followed so the design was removed. The student is being invited to submit a design that matches their original painting so it can be approved and the spot repainted.

“I feel like students should be able to express themselves however they want. I feel like it’s freedom of speech. That’s what our ancestors, what they fought for in this country, and it’s something I think anybody should be able to do,” said a junior at Estero High School.

Estero High School will set aside time for the student to repaint the spot once her design is submitted and approved.

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