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ONOWAY, Alberta, February 6, 2015 ( — The town of Onoway, population 1,039, is embroiled in a controversy over a mural painted by a student on the walls of its high school depicting two teenaged boys in a lip-locked embrace.


Sixteen-year-old Kaela Wilton reportedly received permission from both the principal, James Trodden, and the art and “inclusive education” teacher, Mrs. C. Walker, to paint the mural on the walls of Onoway Jr/Sr High School.

Wilton explained that she painted the approved mural to show support for homosexualism, and that she believes kissing is “just natural.”

“Parents kiss and people on the street. It's just natural,” she said, according to the CBC.

“I think it’s because they are two guys that it’s such an impact. We’re not used to seeing people of the same sex kissing.”

Once complaints started coming into the school from parents and students of the small community, the mural was covered over with a bulletin board, which according to the CBC report, was ripped down by some students to again expose the mural.

In a letter February 2 to concerned parents, Trodden said that he didn't foresee the consequences of his actions, both in allowing the mural and in covering it up.

“In authorizing the mural,” Trodden wrote, “consideration of the greater implications from the perspective of public displays of affection (the school does not encourage students kissing in hallway) and the larger issue of sexual orientation and gender identity were not completely envisioned.”

“Over a week ago, in response to controversy surrounding the mural, and after a meeting with the student artist, the mural was covered with a bulletin board that featured a message designed to invite further social commentary.”

“In retrospect, covering the mural was a misstep – this evolved into a debate about public displays of affection in schools, sexual orientation and gender identity and art and censorship.”

Trodden then stated that until questions about art, censorship, kissing in school by students, and homosexuality are settled, the mural will remain on display.

Trodden did not respond to LifeSiteNews’ interview request by press time.


James Trodden, Principal
Onoway Jr/Sr High School
Box 340, Onoway, AB  T0E 1V0
Phone: 780-967-2271
Email: [email protected]

Kevin Andrea, Superintendent
Northern Gateway Public Schools
Box 840
4816-49 Ave.
Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N8
Phone: 780.778.2800
Toll Free: 1.800.262.8674
Fax: 780.778.6719
Email: [email protected]