August 27, 2002
Pennsylvania Library Mural Stirs Up Controversy

Renovations in the New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, public library caused a stir in the local home school community because of a new mural that some home schoolers found offensive.

According to WHTM News, Dawn Gribb, the artist who painted the mural, was trying to "do something to get the kids to go down to the children's room." She painted children running around in a park, each child having the name of a local school on his or her T-shirt. The one student in the painting, who had "home schooled" on his shirt, was a young boy sitting on a bench with a "Wet Paint" sign on it. Gribb says that she was trying to portray a young toddler who couldn't yet read.

Local home schoolers, however, were offended, believing that the mural implied that home schooled children cannot read well. Many called the library or local media to complain.

After the controversy erupted, the New Cumberland Public Library asked Gribb to paint over the offending shirt. The Library Board President, Elizabeth Stone, told WHTM that home schoolers are a big part of the library, and that New Cumberland Library actually arranges special programs just for them.

Home schoolers working together with state organizations and Home School Legal Defense Association have fought legal and cultural discrimination for years. If your family experiences legal difficulties because of your home schooling, please feel free to contact us for assistance.