JCPS parent using bathroom murals as empowerment tool for young girls
With painful memories and recent headlines, the project is getting positive attention from girls and boys.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hallways and lockers tend to look the same, no matter the school. That's not the case at Kammerer Middle School, where a parent and its principal are working together to send a bold and unique message.
"Catches you off guard at first. Then, you just stand there and start looking and then you take pride," says David Armour, Principal at Kammerer Middle School.
Every stroke, every color, every word. "Girls our age are really self-conscious and it really helps. It tells like, you matter, you are beautiful, you are smart, you are amazing, it really helps, if you are having a bad day, you can just go in there and see all these inspirational quotes," says 7th grader Samantha Byrd.
The girls' restroom is the backdrop at the hand of one parent and principal.
"I said 'Well go for it! The canvas is yours,' and so the next thing I know, she calls me up to look at some of her work and it's just absolutely phenomenal," Armour said.
The painter is Gail Raderer, whose son goes to Kammerer Middle School.
The theme is kindness. "This one is about beauty and how girls treat each other," Raderer said. For her, it's personal. "It was hard. I got made fun of and called names, and it caused me to shut down as a person," she said.
She's painting four bathrooms. "The girls need a place to go even for a minute or two and it needs to be private and they can regroup and remember who they are," Raderer said.
She's tackling each bathroom a week or two at a time. "I appreciate the fact that Mr. Armour has the forethought to not only educate these kids, but he also wants to mentally keep them strong and that's hard," Raderer said.
With painful memories and recent headlines, the project is getting positive attention from girls and boys like Raderer's. "He came in the door from the bus and he gave me a big hug and he was like, 'I'm really proud of you.' It was sweet," Raderer said.
The school is doing what it can to maybe be a part of the solution. "Any moment you get, any spare time, the brief conversation, the smile, the positive comment that you might share with a child could make or break their day," Armour said.
Raderer has some ideas for the boys' restrooms too, which the school principal is hoping to have painted in the near future.
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