A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

The following article needs a warning label

Posted by 1minionsopinion on December 16, 2009

so I made one:

A student was suspended from school recently on account of an art project. The student happens to be eight years old.

A Taunton father is outraged after his 8-year-old son was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The father said he got a call earlier this month from Maxham Elementary School informing him that his son, a second-grade student, had created a violent drawing. The image in question depicted a crucified Jesus with Xs covering his eyes to signify that he had died on the cross. The boy wrote his name above the cross.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’re violating his religion,” the incredulous father said.

He requested that his name and his son’s name be withheld from publication to protect the boy.

But it’d be easier to protect the boy if this didn’t make world-accessible headlines, and anyone in his class has already spread the word around about how he got in trouble. And, I don’t think his suspension qualifies as a violation against a religion. I think it’s a teacher’s screw up and a ridiculous reason to give a kid the boot, and a ridiculous thing to drag into the media – except for people who want to try and claim somebody’s being persecuted and suppressed on account of a religion.

The student drew the picture shortly after taking a family trip to see the Christmas display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, a Christian retreat site in Attleboro. He made the drawing in class after his teacher asked the children to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas, the father said.

Why would the kid draw Christ on a cross at Christmastime? Anyone else his age would be into reindeer and Santa and elves, or even the nativity scene stuff, albeit badly rendered. If the kid thinks of a cross, it’s evidence of how his folks have trained him to think.

“I think what happened is that because he put Xs in the eyes of Jesus, the teacher was alarmed and they told the parents they thought it was violent,” said Toni Saunders, an educational consultant with the Associated Advocacy Center.

Saunders is working with the boy’s parents after a mutual acquaintance referred them to her.

“When I got that call, I was so appalled that I had to do something,” Saunders said.

“They weren’t looking at the fact that this is an 8-year-old child with special needs,” she added. “They made him leave school, and they recommended that a psychiatrist do an evaluation.”

Interesting. What kind of special needs? Or would that make it too obvious to know which family this is? Here it seems the special need is 24 hours of religious pampering a day or the folks have a conniption (see the real reason below).

The school, in fact, required the evaluation before the boy could return, the father said.

Maxham School principal Rebecca Couet referred all questions on the matter to the superintendent’s office.

Superintendent Julie Hackett said district policy prevents her from discussing a “confidential matter regarding a student.”

“Generally speaking, we have safety protocols in place,” Hackett said. “If a situation warrants it, we ask for outside safety evaluations if we have particular concerns about a child’s safety. We followed all the protocols in our system.”

Is the child’s safety at risk? Somebody went off the deep end over an art project and the parents have gone so far as to contact the media and keep it newsworthy, as if a suspension wouldn’t be traumatic enough for a kid his age. Why would any school suspend an eight year old over an art assignment!?

Hackett refused to specifically discuss the student’s drawing or the school’s reaction to it.

The father was flabbergasted when he learned his son had to undergo an evaluation.

“When she told me he needed to be psychologically evaluated, I thought she was playing,” he said.

The man said his son, who gets specialized reading and speech instruction at school, has never shown any tendency toward violence.

“He’s never been suspended,” he said. “He’s 8 years old. They overreacted.”

No shit, Sherlock.

The boy made the drawing and was sent home from school on Dec. 2. He went for the psychological evaluation — at his parents’ expense — the next day and was cleared to return to school the following Monday after the psychological evaluation found nothing to indicate that he posed a threat to himself or others.

The boy, however, was traumatized by the incident, which made going back to school very difficult, the father said. School administrators have approved the father’s request to have the boy transferred to another elementary school in the district.

I like that they’ve decided to switch schools. Obviously his teacher was moronically clueless. And not a comic reader. Everyone knows X’s over eyes is the way to illustrate cartoony death:

(See other Off The Mark comics)


4 Responses to “The following article needs a warning label”

  1. dorian said

    that’s right, school is now that traumatic experience for this kid. he obviously associated christmas with jesus and probably drew the crucified cross because he had just seen it. that kid has a great imagination and he’s certainly different. he could grow up to be a great artist. what’s with the teacher??


  2. 1minionsopinion said

    I don’t think it’s evidence of imagination. It’s evidence of indoctrination.

    But, I agree on the great artist part. If he’s encouraged to be artistic even though this experience turned out less than great, then he’ll be better off. I’d hate to see the kid lose interest in expressing himself and his ideas through art because of this. Hopefully he gets lots of encouragement at his new school to play with the pencils.


  3. princessxxx said

    when i was in 5th grade in private christian school i drew soldiers being killed in the vietnam war. my parents were called and the teacher told my parents i have serious mental issues.

    how did it affect my art? now, instead of drawing bloody headless soldiers, i draw bloody headless teachers.


  4. princessxxx said

    and speaking of crosses, doesn’t anyone think that the last thing jesus would want to see when he returns is a bunch of crosses.

    tha’t a real “welcome back” kind of gesture, oh ,lol.


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