MAAC Charter, chartered by Sweetwater Union High School District, touts itself as a community school that offers students a unique curriculum in which students learn traditional subjects in relation to real-world issues.
Director Tommy Ramirez says this mural was a part of Battlegroundz, an annual event which highlights the urban art form of street murals to raise money to provide scholarships for seniors.
The mural was among many colorful, spray-painted works on a wall along the back of the school. It depicts an Aztek warrior with a purple skull and tiger helmet adorned with feathers, clutching a spear in his right hand with the severed head of Donald Trump.
“It’s art, but I don’t think it should be there,” parent Marisol Alvarado told KUSI.
“Really, I don’t have no words for it, actually,” resident Heidi Avent said. “Because, ya, it wasn’t ok, I don’t think.”
Many parents complained to the school district and area news sites, both about the overtly political message and violence depicted by the “art.”
Others seemed to like it.
“I’m cool with it, because I don’t like Donald Trump,” Xavier Ramos told KUSI. “It’s more like a representation of how people feel on the wall.”
“It looks real nice,” Sheoton Hall added. “I wish I would have drew it. Matter fact, I think I’ll go home and draw something similar.”
Public backlash about the painting ultimately forced school officials to cover the mural with a black tarp, which was later replaced with a piece of plywood.
“We understand that there was a mural painted at the event this past weekend that does not align with our school’s philosophy of non-violence,” Ramirez said in a prepared statement. “We have been in communication with the artist who has agreed to modify the artwork to better align with the school’s philosophy.”
The artist, who was not identified, did not respond to requests for comment from KFBM.
MAAC serves over 300 students ages 14 to 24 through traditional core classes, but encourages students to develop skills in areas of multimedia, healthcare, business, and theatre arts, according to its website. The school’s mascot is an Aztec warrior.
The MAAC Trump mural isn’t the first Trump bashing mural in the San Diego area to gain attention in recent years.
In 2015, artists on the Mexico side of the Tijuana-San Diego border spray painted an image of Trump with a gag ball in his mouth and the message “Rape Trump!” – a mural crafted with the help of young children, according to the San Diego Reader.