Admin investigates Franco mural vandalism

Adrienne Kwok and Zahra Muzaffar

james franco mural graffiti
Sophomores Chloe Hong and Julia Qiao ate beside a mural painted on the Student Center wall today during lunch. Administration discovered the words, “How do you vandalize garbage?” after school today and are taking prompt action to remove it. Photo by Adrienne Kwok.

The Palo Alto High School administration is looking to investigate damages done to a mural painted by Paly alumnus and actor James Franco as of Feb. 16.

Students and staff were greeted after the President’s Day weekend with red, spray-painted letters graffitied onto one of two murals Franco had painted last year on the Student Center. The words, “How do you vandalize garbage?” covered his painting depicting student football players.

According to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, the district is searching for a method to remove the red paint without affecting the original work.

“I have to see if the district can fix it, remove that painting without removing the real painting,” Berkson said.

According to Berkson, identifying those responsible was made harder due to the extended weekend.

“The problem is catching someone,” Berkson said. “Since we noticed it today, it was probably done over a four [five] day weekend. But we’re on it.”

james franco mural graffiti
Students observed as one of James Franco’s murals was painted in fall 2014. Photo by Adrienne Kwok.

Vandalism can result in a variety of consequences.

“It could go anywhere from a legal matter [such as] bringing in the police to community service to suspension,” Berkson said.

Before the break, the administration painted over the mural displaying students reading Paly’s newspaper, The Campanile. In addition to the murals, Franco, a graduate of 1996, has also donated multiple other paintings that are currently on display around campus.

Some students responded by expressing their disapproval of the graffiti.

“Even if you disapprove or dislike someone’s work, you’re still not entitled to vandalize it,” sophomore Adeline Zhou said. “Honestly it’s pretty disrespectful to Franco. I know I would be hurt if someone trashed my work.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Class of 2020 celebrates graduation in a flurry of cheering and honking

    COVID-19

    Class of 2020 celebrates graduation in a flurry of cheering and honking

  • Shultz, "tireless advocate" for students and counselor of 26 years, to retire

    Features

    Shultz, “tireless advocate” for students and counselor of 26 years, to retire

  • Senior Send Offs to honor traditional graduating events

    Multimedia

    Senior Send Offs to honor traditional graduating events

  • ee

    COVID-19

    Student-run summer programs adjust for COVID-19

  • District predicts grim budget

    News

    District predicts grim budget

  • District unveils tentative school reopening plans

    News

    District unveils tentative school reopening plans

  • District faces dire budget crisis

    Multimedia

    District faces dire budget crisis

  • Dozens express opposition towards instructional lead pay reduction

    COVID-19

    Dozens express opposition towards instructional lead pay reduction

  • Residents return as Palo Alto parks reopen

    COVID-19

    Residents return as Palo Alto parks reopen

  • Meet Paly and Gunn

    Multimedia

    Meet Paly and Gunn’s new principals

Navigate Right