Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's Hard To See, Sittin' In The Nosebleeds

So, a kid in Wisconsin is suing his school because he got an F on an art piece.
A Tomah High School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging his art teacher censored his drawing because it featured a cross and a biblical reference.

The lawsuit alleges other students were allowed to draw “demonic” images and asks a judge to declare a class policy prohibiting religion in art unconstitutional.

“We hear so much today about tolerance,” said David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal advocacy group representing the student. “But where is the tolerance for religious beliefs? The whole purpose of art is to reflect your own personal experience.

That's true. Art is personal. Why, then, did he get an F?
His teacher, Julie Millin, asked him to remove the reference to the Bible, saying students were making remarks about it.

He refused, and she gave him a zero on the project.

Millin showed the student a policy for the class that prohibited any violence, blood, sexual connotations or religious beliefs in artwork. The lawsuit claims Millin told the boy he had signed away his constitutional rights when he signed the policy at the beginning of the semester.

So the kid broke a classroom rule, was told by a teacher to change his project, refused, and failed. Sounds about right.

The rule is bullshit. It's an art class. Kids should be allowed to explore their feelings, religion included. I'm not a big art fan, but I know that art often offends. Not that "John 3:16" is offensive in any way. No more offensive than "The 12 Labors of Heracles," anyway. However, it has been well established that, as the quote says, students have no Constitional rights. The kid didn't follow the rule, and deserves the F.

I hope he gets the policy overturned. This isn't just an anti-religious policy, it is anti-free speech. My guess, however, is that he only wants the religious ban overturned, not the sexual imagery or violence bans. Which is too bad.

The story has some other interesting statements.
The lawsuit also alleges school officials allow other religious items and artwork to be displayed on campus.

A Buddha and Hindu figurines are on display in a social studies classroom, the lawsuit claims, adding the teacher passionately teaches Hindu principles to students.

In addition, a replica of Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Man” is displayed at the school’s entrance, a picture of a six-limbed Hindu goddess is in the school’s hallway and a drawing of a robed sorcerer hangs on a hallway bulletin board.

So the administrator's statement that a piece of art with a bible quote infringes on other students' rights rings false.

But does anyone else have the same question as I do? A robed sorcerer is a religious item? They also mention a Medusa drawing in the list. I guess that fits. If one fairy tale can be a religion, why not all of them?

Your Confusing To Many leader.

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