Just a few weeks ago, Strawberry Crest High School (SCHS) Principal Dave Brown read about a school in Laguna Hills, CA, that empowered students to try something a bit different in order to bring kindness back and eliminate bullying from the campus. He liked the idea so much that he brought it to the Student Government Association at SCHS, and from there, it took on a life of its own. Now, instead of the normal mirror/sink/toilet and blank walls in four of the girls' restrooms, the walls are decorated with bright, pretty, colorful, serene and supportive artwork, and it happened practically overnight.
Female students in four restrooms at Strawberry Crest High School won’t see their faces in the mirror anymore — instead they will be treated to strong, feminist, uplifting art; bright, colorful graphics; subtle portraits of strong women, and dozens of quotes (in English and Spanish) that assure them that they are beautiful, smart, capable, loved and strong, and that important and amazing things can and will happen to them if they only believe in themselves.
Taylor Norrington, a junior at SCHS and a member of SGA, and Danielle Wynn, a senior who is headed to the Culinary Institute of America in New York after graduation this year, along with 30 other club members, spent one whole weekend transforming the restrooms.
According to Danielle, “the decorating was done with the hope that it would cut down on bullying, and make others aware that words can hurt.” Taylor felt that the completed projects would “build girls confidence.” She added that, “A lot of the girls are self-conscious, and by covering up the mirrors with artwork, it will help them feel good about themselves!”
When asked what he thought the project would do for his school, Principal Brown said, “I hope that the young ladies at Strawberry Crest understand that they can do anything….be anything….achieve anything….if they can dream it. They can make it happen. They don’t need the approval of others to make a great impact on others and the world.”
SCHS student government plans to tackle the boys’ restrooms in the future. The school hopes to add more positivity to students' days as they navigate the stresses and struggles of being teenagers. One of the bright pink posters hanging on one restroom wall sums it all up perfectly. It reads “PERFECT girls aren’t real. REAL girls aren’t perfect.”