Another volunteer and I spent a better part of Saturday working on this mural - many people who passed by us commented that it was really well done and that they liked the message we were trying to get across. Today, however, I received an email from the person I report to that said that the mural had to be taken down because it had made some people unhappy. The email also said from now on when I volunteer to stick to messages that talk about healthy choices. I think reading that made me even more unhappy than the so-called unhappy people for several reasons:
a) The mural did promote well-being
b) I am usually a very good judge of what could be considered controversial and always try to present matter in a positive, informative, and tasteful manner (having worked in advertising and having to adhere to strict CRTC guidelines)
c) According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
d) Seeing Saskatchewan has such high rates of STIs, it could be assumed that current messages about healthy choices are ineffective
In my opinion, I do not feel that the mural we created should have been taken down. I feel that it wasn't given a fair chance to get enough, diverse feedback. If more time had passed and the consensus was that the mural was still inappropriate, then I would definitely reconsider it. I guess this is just a taste of some of the things I might encounter in the school system in the future. I worry that I will be silenced because I want to do or say things a little differently than how they have always been done. Is there a happy medium when it comes to saying what you know is right and doing what others think is right?