Written on the Walls


The mural on the wall of the girls’ bathroom outside the 3000’s pod stands as a reminder of the importance of considering the emotions of all students.

by Makenna Allen, Reporter

Paint brushes lay scattered amongst tubes of purple and blue acrylics.  Kira Deal ‘18 sat in the middle, controlling it all.  The sprawl of art supplies that seemingly emanated from the artist herself would have been a common sight in any art classroom…. but not in the girls’ bathroom.  What was even more uncommon was the sight of Deal dipping her paintbrush into the inky purple liquid and streaking it onto the brick wall.  Was this against the rules?  Would this student somehow be expelled for her work?  Not at all.  In fact, Deal’s wall murals mark the spread of a growing movement in the halls of Rock Canyon: the Kindness is Contagious Campaign.

“The Kindness is Contagious Campaign got started last year and at first, we had all these major things happening.  We had the Rachel’s Challenge come in as part of the Kindness is Contagious Campaign and then we had the wristbands that we were passing out,” music teacher and leader of the program, Benjamin Dale, said.  “This year, we decided, ‘Ok, how do we continue the idea of kindness throughout the school culture without having to put on these major events?’”

Students and staff sought to provide a reminder of this theme of kindness that was more permanent than the signs that adorned the halls earlier in the school year.  Administration approved the solution that the group proposed.  Art students would paint murals on the bathroom walls.  Deal submitted a design that Dale later selected to be painted in the bathrooms outside the 3000’s pod.  

“I agreed to paint them because I was looking for a way to leave my mark on the school in a way that I knew would be permanent and impactful,” Deal said.  “I figured, what better way to do that than use my art experience to make something uplifting that people see everyday.  Plus, hopefully the quotes I picked actually change some of the culture and attitude in the school.”

This very idea of altering student interactions for the better lies at the heart of the Kindness is Contagious Campaign.  Even as Dale works to complete the murals within her 14 hour goal, she strives to keep the true meaning of her work in mind.  

“It often is the little things that can really start a big movement or change an area,” Deal said.

Both Deal and Dale hope that brief words of the murals provide a constant reminder of how students should treat one another.  Dale believes a shift in the positive direction should not be difficult.  

“Kindness is simple.  It’s cheap.  It’s free and it’s cool,” Dale said.