Fayetteville school bathroom art targets bullying, inspires young girls

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
This writing on bathroom wall is about optimism
At Fayetteville Academy, girls get a positive message in the bathroom.

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- We've all seen writing on the walls in restrooms but at Fayetteville Academy, the message isn't vandalism but optimism.

"You are brave," "You are strong," and "Believe you can." Those are just some of the few quotes painted on the walls of the middle-grades girl's bathroom at Fayetteville Academy.

"Some people would say hurtful things about how I look," said sixth-grader Jane March Riddle.

Jane's mom got the artwork idea from a Facebook post. Knowing her daughter and others at the school struggled with bullying, she commissioned a family friend and local artist to help send a special message.

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Cool school bathroom in Fayetteville bears positive messages.

"Girls need to be empowered, they need to know they're beautiful, but they also need to be nice and they need to be kind," said artist Shari Link. "So when I chose the quotes, I didn't want it all to be about looks and beauty."

It's a message that's looking back at them whenever middle-schoolers see their reflection.

"I like how it's right next to the mirror because you know, just makes you not care so much about your appearance and what you look like on the outside, but the person you are on the inside," said Rachel Null, an eighth-grader at Fayetteville Academy. "Amazing, brave and strong."

Link said this project is her favorite because she could see the change in the young girls as they connected with the words.

"It just feels like it could help out with the drama, because people could think that if someone said something mean about how they look, they could think about what's in the inside of them," Jane said.

The idea of inspirational bathrooms is spreading like wildfire in Fayetteville.

Link has actually been contacted to do similar artwork in other schools and organizations. As for Fayetteville Academy, the boys' bathroom is next for a makeover.