Madeira, OH – A Madeira High School student’s anti-police “artwork” was on display inside the city’s municipal building lobby during an annual art fair on Sunday.
The display was part of the Madeira Women’s Club Art Fair, a popular annual community event that has been taking place the first Sunday in May for over 50 years, Madeira Police Lieutenant Paul Phillips told Blue Lives Matter on Monday.
The art fair was comprised of pieces created by Madeira City School district students, and were selected by the students’ art teachers.
But one of the items on display drew immediate criticism for its blatantly anti-police message.
“Our department was made aware that one of the art projects depicts a pig dressed in a police uniform,” the Madeira Police Department said in a press release on Sunday. “In the background is a collage of news articles referencing interactions where police officers have used deadly force in the course of their duties.”
The project was ultimately removed from the display by the school and the Madeira Women’s Club, Lt. Phillips told Blue Lives Matter.
The school leaders were unaware that the project was a part of the art fair, because the art teachers were responsible for selecting which projects would be put on display, he said.
“The members of the Madeira Police Department fully respect and support the student’s right to free speech, and recognize that this young artist is very talented,” the MPD said in the press release. “However, officers are troubled by the perceived message of the student’s art project.”
The department said the school district is also aware of the anti-police artwork.
“The Madeira Police Department enjoys a strong and supportive relationship with the community it serves, which includes Madeira City Schools,” the MPD said. “Our department has already been in contact with the leadership at Madeira City Schools and is working cooperatively to address any concerns the community may have while respecting the student’s right to fair speech.”
Madeira High School Principal David Kennedy, Madeira City Schools Superintendent Kenji Matsudo, and the Madeira Women’s Club have not returned Blue Lives Matter’s request for comment.