Club Presidents collaborate, form Westview United

Custodian Art Wolfe walked onto campus at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 12 to find the painted W in the middle of the quad vandalized with profanity, racial slurs and hate symbols.

A gift from the class of 2016, the W, Westview’s logo, was proposed after the 2016 class presidents saw other schools like Mt. Carmel, Del Norte, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo paint logos in their main quads. After approval from the class council and administration, the W was painted in the summer of 2016, welcoming incoming and returning students.

ASB wanted the W to be a representation of Westview’s identity that was respected by the students. They decided to wait to observe how students treated the new artwork.

“When we first put out the W, it was the start of last year,” ASB adviser Shannon Parker said. “We didn’t want to blatantly say ‘Don’t step on the W’ because we know the minute you state that, it only makes kids want to step on it even more, so we just put it out there and watched what naturally happened. Given that our student body wasn’t trained to walk around our logo, at one point in the year we decided to put some signs up that just said ‘let’s walk around the W.’”

Parker said she hoped the signs would train students to walk around the W and maintain its status as a valuable part of the campus.

After spending more than a year on campus, the W was vandalized with graffiti in black spray paint, prompting Principal Tina Ziegler to take quick action by contacting the district office and police.

To prevent students from viewing the vandalization, a tarp was placed over the graffiti until it could be painted over.

PUSD Communications Director Christine Park sent an email to the community, informing parents, students and staff of the situation.

While quality issues with recorded camera footage of the surrounding area have revealed no definite suspects so far, informed community members have brought up further leads. Police have also been working to review footage and do investigative work, such as matching handwriting to other local graffiti.

As for the future of the W, ASB is currently working to plan discussions with the student body to hear what the students want. Current sentiment shows students do want the W to come back; however, many are unsure about it returning to the center of the quad. Discussion has started as to whether the W should be moved to a place with higher security, where vandalism would be more unlikely.

Ultimately, the decision will be taken to student senate, who will gather the opinions from their homerooms and report it to ASB, who will work with administration to make a decision.

Community members have also stepped in to help, with one offering to pay for the replacement of the W, which cost $1,800 to initially paint.

“Support from staff and students reinforce what the W stood for and represented,” said Ziegler. “It goes back to having a community, and so sometimes having that visual symbol can remind us that we are one unity, we are one community, this is what we believe in. We’re inclusive, we persevere, we work hard, all of those things are in that W. It was such a sense of symbolism for our school, the impact of someone vandalizing that is pretty strong. ”