MPD officers and Kingsbury Middle students team up to cover gang graffiti

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Memphis Police and sixth grade students at Kingsbury Middle are picking up paint brushes to combat gang graffiti outside of the school.

"We're making murals to paint over the graffit, so the neighborhood can look better," said student Jesse Rivira. "I'm enjoying it. I love making our community a better place."

The murals will stretch almsot a block wide across from the school.

Sixth-grade students at Kingsbury Middle painted over graffiti with a mural Wednesday. (photo by Jessica Gertler, WREG)

This wasn't the first time officers and students teamed up. Three years ago, WREG told you about the pair painting over offensive gang graffiti on the same fence. Everything was fine, until recently when the vandals came back in March 2019.

The school's D.A.R.E. officers brainstormed with their students and came up with a plan.

"We decided to go big and paint two big murals," said student Mariana Bullard.

"I said, 'Hey. Maybe they'll be respectful if we do something bold and beautiful," said D.A.R.E. Officer Cassandra Leake.

Police Direcotr Michael Rallings was more than excited to hear what they wanted to do.

"And I shared it with the mayor and senior leadership team," he said. "As kids are going to school, they see an image that reminds them that we are all one big community."

The students will be back out Thursday and plan to have the mural complete by Friday.

Sixth-grade students at Kingsbury Middle painted over graffiti with a mural Wednesday. (photo by Jessica Gertler, WREG)

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