A MURAL designed to defy a racist message that was daubed on a school could soon come to life.

Cheney School has launched a £5,000 crowdfunding campaign to cover an outside wall with art, after the same spot was sprayed with shocking graffiti.

The secondary school in Headington fell victim to the vandalism in March, which included included Nazi swastikas and an apparent reference to the New Zealand terror attacks.

Although it was quickly scrubbed off, students were so disgusted that they dreamt up the mural to celebrate Cheney’s diversity.

A group of Year 11 pupils Cheney penned a powerful letter in response, stating: “We think that although the graffiti has already been removed, the wall will continue to be tainted by the memory of those symbols of hate.

“In a world of increasing divisions between races and cultures, we believe a message of solidarity would show our determination to be respectful and inclusive, both as individuals and as a school.

“We fear that if the wall is left blank, it will always be ‘That Wall’, haunted forever by the hatred represented in those symbols.”


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The project been proudly named the Cheney Diversity Mural, and students were invited to take part in a competition to come up with the design.

A JustGiving page has now been set up to cover costs of seeing the project to completion, and £1,800 has already been raised in the space of just 12 days.

Moyeen Islam, who left a generous donation of £500, wrote on the page: “When I see children do such a wonderful thing, I know the future will be better that the present.”

Another supporter, Isabel Murphy, said: “Well done all the pupils at Cheney School doing this, which will leave a great message and legacy for the future.”

Naomi Winnifrith wrote: "Good luck with this and thank you for organising such a hopeful and positive project."

Other donors who commented on the fundraising platform described the project as ‘inspiring’ and a ‘brilliant response.’

Ian Mckendrick, of Oxford Stand Up To Racism, also commented on the page: “Well done to Cheney students taking their school wall back after the racist graffiti. Great work standing up to racism.”


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The fundraising page set up by Cheney School states: “We are incredibly proud of our students for such a mature response and for a response which celebrates our inclusive and welcoming community.

“Our teachers and staff have already started to offer their ideas and support for the mural project, including using our creative writing poetry workshops allowing students to contribute powerful words as well as powerful images.”

The funds raised would cover costs of materials, staffing to oversee the students’ work, a plaque to go next to the artwork, an unveiling ceremony and any costs associated with mounting the mural.

Although an exact date is yet to be confirmed, the school hopes to unveil the mural in late July.

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