On August 5, 2021 an article appeared on the front page of the New York Daily News describing the removal and destruction of a student mural that was recently hung in the P. S. 295 school cafeteria. Doug Hecklinger was the teacher of four of the six fifth-graders who created the artwork and he was, needless to say, quite upset to hear of the action taken by the school administration.
In our conversation, Doug talks about all of the work that the school faculty, along with the students and their families, put into embracing a culture of diversity and social equity. He gives us a very clear picture of the school community and the mission goal of acceptance that was very unexpectedly squashed when the students’ work was destroyed. He also talks about his hope for the important, healing that needs to now take place.