A protest sign designed by a third grader has mysteriously traveled to protests. Following the death of George Floyd, Lake Country School’s teachers struggled with how to make their students understand the event.
Since the incidence happened during the pandemic, they couldn’t look into each others’ eyes and hug themselves, so, they had to look for a different way to console themselves.
Ben Moury, the school principal considered the natural tendency of children to desire to help during a period of trouble and right wrongs. He embraced students to join other people in the streets by designing signs and sharing the signs’ pictures with the school community.
A third-grader known as Mathias Brinda designed a big sign using Bishop Desmond Tutu’s quote which states that
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.Desmond Tutu
This sign was hung on the school fence and a picture of Mathias standing with his poodle by the sign was sent around.
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Some people realized that the sign had been removed and they assumed vandals were responsible for this. This issue was brought up later in the week during a school meeting.
However, the sign was later found when the New York Times ran this picture of the Minneapolis protest. Mathias’s sign appeared in front of a man in a black mask kneeling with his head bowed. Mathias’s sign also appeared in the Atlantic, where three children held his sign with their fists raised.
Miraculously, Mathias’s sign reappeared in the school. Lucinda Anderson who is one of the school’s staff went to pay homage at the huge memorial site on 38th Street, where Floyd was murdered. It began to rain and people tried to collect the works of arts and the bouquets. While Anderson was trying to gather things, she realized she was holding the sign.
Anderson brought Mathias’s sign back and pasted it on the fence. The sign is still there, alongside that of his classmates. This school community has done so well even though the schoolyard is empty.