A New York Public School Is Being Threatened and Harassed Over This Art Project

Staff and PTA members at New York City's P.S. 75 are dealing with a deluge of threatening phone calls, profanity-laden emails and violent social media posts after conservative bloggers published an article calling a student-made fundraising project an example of left-wing indoctrination.

The article, which appeared on Fox News host Sean Hannity's website, blasted the school for this student-produced mural of a U.S. flag overlaid with foreign ones, accompanied by the caption "We Pledge Allegiance To An International Flag."

Source: BiddingForGood

"It is widely accepted that American public schools are controlled by liberals," read the article, which was posted by Hannity's staff. "It seems like every day, we see new examples of American schoolchildren being indoctrinated with left-wing ideas."

"This latest example was brought to our attention by a concerned parent."

After noting that the flags on the project consist mainly of Spanish-speaking countries and Russia, the article concluded, "This is the type of globalist indoctrination we have come to expect from the public school system, but telling impressionably young American children that their loyalty should lie with some nebulous idea of a global community rather than their own nation is a new low."

The story was later picked up by other conservative outlets including BizPac Review, which called the assignment "lib indoctrination at its finest," and InfoWars.

On social media, aggrieved users suggested the school should be bombed, school staff shot and otherwise advocated violence in response to the story.

Source: Patricia Frisbie
Source: Patricia Frisbie

In one profanity-laden email, a harasser said the assignment was like "pedophilia" and called district staff "Fascists and Communists."

Source: Patricia Frisbie

Before the posting was removed by P.S. 75's principal, it was accompanied by the caption, "The fun quote on the bottom is about unity and creating an environment in which everyone is welcome! 'We pledge allegiance to an International Flag!' Our dual language classroom strives to be a place that everyone feels welcome!"

Students at the school are taught in both English and Spanish.

The mural was intended to reflect the ethnic and national diversity of P.S. 75's students, Patricia Frisbie, donation chair and V.P. of fundraising for the PTA executive board, told Mic in a phone interview. 

At first, they had no idea why the threats were coming in. But Frisbie said the school received numerous threatening phone calls, and the email account linked to the donation was receiving "very threatening and vile, profoundly disturbing" emails. The school's Facebook and Twitter accounts were similarly barraged.

"It's definitely ongoing and it's happening as we speak," Frisbie said. She added the school would be holding emergency meetings and contacting police for extra security on Monday and throughout the week.

Critics are "really blowing this out of context," Frisbie continued, saying she believed the outrage directed at P.S. 75 was connected to the harsh tone of national politics in 2016.

"These are a bunch of 5-year-olds getting together and making artwork expressing how they feel about school ... it definitely touched a nerve."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

White Americans more likely to own guns, blacks more likely know someone who has been shot: study

New research reveals startling stats about the relationship African-Americans have with guns.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

White Americans more likely to own guns, blacks more likely know someone who has been shot: study

New research reveals startling stats about the relationship African-Americans have with guns.