Like every other night, Suncoast junior Shannon Meloy, was scrolling through the social media app, Tik Tok. She came upon a video of another teen painting their friends calculator cases and she decided to give it a try and upload a few videos. Overnight, her videos took off unexpectedly and now Meloy has almost two hundred thousand followers on her account.
Alongside her calculator videos, Meloy began taking items from her teacher, David Hale, without him knowing and returning them painted. These videos gained millions of views and accounts began reposting her videos on other social media platforms. However, instead of the love and praise she was receiving on Tik Tok she began receiving hate. People criticized both Meloy and Hale saying she was a disrespectful student and he was a poor teacher for letting her vandalize his property.
“I try not to let anything get to me; mainly because I know they aren’t right at all. If Mr. Hale considered it vandalism, I would have never taken it in the first place,” said Meloy.
While she ignores the hate, Meloy’s parents did not approve. They were not fully supportive of her videos because of the attention they brought to her name. Her parents were initially worried about what colleges would think when they saw the videos and the hate that came alongside it. Eventually her parents began to embrace it just as much as her peers at school. Her friends do not treat her any differently but they do ask her to paint their things.
“I think personal expression is really important so to be able to see Shannon through her art work is really unique,” Junior Melissa Dominguez said.
At this point, Meloy has painted around fifty calculators and is beginning to paint not only students belongings but teachers are also requesting that she paints their things. Despite school taking up a lot of her time, Meloy does not want to stop painting. “I really like what I’m doing and creating, so I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon,” said Meloy.