Oxon Hill students sign petition to bring controversial art display back

An Oxon Hill High School student has started a Change.org petition to bring back a controversial art display that was removed from the school's lobby earlier this week.

The art project depicted a white police officer reading the obituary section of a newspaper. Next to that was a figure of a black man in a blood-stained shirt with his hands up.

Hundreds of people have signed the petition in support of the art students who created the exhibit as part of a project on social justice.

The display was pulled on Monday after the school received complaints. While some say the art is inappropriate and disrespectful, students we spoke with Wednesday say it is a form of expression.

"It's about art. It's basically freedom of speech and I feel like we don't get to basically speak our voices and that's basically what they were showing in the display, but a lot of people don't get that and they basically thought we were going against officers," said student Octavia B. Williams.

"I think it's an expression of our freedom of speech, our First Amendment, and that it's fine as long as we're expressing ourselves nonviolently, and there's nothing wrong with it," said student Trinity Carpenter.

Students are also expressing themselves on Twitter using the hashtag #donttakeitdown.

In a statement released Tuesday, Prince George's County Public Schools acknowledged that the display has been removed. They said, "While we encourage this type of evaluation, expression and analysis in our school district, we also strive to foster a civil and respectful culture."

RELATED STORY: Art display pulled from Maryland school after complaints
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