The Estero High School senior paid $15 to paint the spot with a blue strip that read “Back the Blue” in black letters on Saturday, only to return to school on Monday to find it had been painted over with black paint. The phrase was meant to show her support for law enforcement and is largely adopted by the Blue Lives Matter movement. A picture of the painted-over design spread quickly on social media.
“All students participating in the parking spot painting were required to submit a design for pre-approval, check in before painting and then check out so the spot could be inspected,” Lee County School District spokesperson Robert Spicker said in a statement. “Those procedures were not followed so the design was removed. The student is being invited to submit a design that matches their original painting so it can be approved and the spot repainted.”
“The student has submitted her design [Tuesday], the school has approved it and they are coordinating a day and time for her to repaint the parking spot,” Spicker said.
“Such a disappointment & shame!” the student’s parent wrote in a Facebook post that was subsequently captured in a screenshot. “What message does this send to the students?”
“The [Lee County School District] is short on teachers, bus drivers but apparently they have enough staff to run out right away paint over a senior’s parking space when they don’t like the verbiage,” district volunteer Ramie Hall wrote in a Facebook post. “With a clear violation of freedom of speech, the administrator … who gave the directive to paint over the senior’s parking spot should be terminated immediately.”
Hall also referred to a previously controversially painted parking spot that was never painted over. She went on to call for the resignation of district board member Chris Patricca over the situation.
“Apparently supporting law enforcement at a Florida high school is too controversial,” Law Enforcement Officer’s Weekend President Austin Glickman captioned his video including the parking spot on TikTok.
Glickman’s TikTok had over 35,000 likes.