Dundalk mom attempts to end bullying with art
Last year, Kristen Jones found out her son, who was in the fifth grade, was getting bullied by his peers in one of Dundalk Elementary School’s bathrooms.
“When it happened, I was upset about it. I was mad; I was angry,” Jones explained, “I had so much energy about it; I knew I wanted to reuse it.”
“Either in a positive way or a negative way,” she noted.
According to Jones, the only thing she could think of was to paint.
“I paint things, and I thought maybe I could create something that could possibly change somebody’s day,” Jones said.
Before going to Dundalk Elementary, Jones asked her son if he approved of her ideas to paint messages at his school.
“I didn’t want to embarrass him, but he loved the idea,” Jones said.
After receiving her son’s blessing, Jones contacted the principal of Dundalk Elementar y.
“I asked if I could paint positive quotes in all of the bathrooms, starting with the one my son was bullied in,” Jones said. He approved.
All throughout Dundalk Elementary’s boys and girls restrooms, quotes like, “Spread Love,” “You got this,” “We RISE by lifting others,” and “Spread LOVE NOT hate,” stand out colorfully.
According to Jones, she has received a lot of positive feedback.
“Everybody loves it, and the kids like having paintings in the bathrooms,” Jones explained, “Before they just had plain walls.”
According to Jones, her son, who is now in the sixth grade, hasn’t experienced any more bullying.
“He loves middle school,” she noted.
Jones has a younger son who still attends Dundalk Elementar y.
“He hasn’t experienced any bullying either,” Jones said.
According to Jones, she plans on painting the bathroom walls at all her children’s school as they get older.
Kristen Jones painting Dundalk Elementary School.
Students no longer have plain bathroom walls.