Student Sues Wisconsin School After Getting a Zero for Religious Drawing

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posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 10:50 AM
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It's probably NOT a KKK cross,
but maybe symbolism for the Hebrew's wandering through the wilderness with the pillar of fire-by-night.
It looks like the cross is the fiery pillar on the trail of life, to guide our way, IMO.
Whatever it is, if the teacher allowed for a free (do whatever you want to)
kind of exercise, then, it's wrong to show preferential treatment!
Agreed?




posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by umbr45
 


What does John 3:16 have to do with landscapes?

It was Biblical reference that the teacher asked him to take out, yet he still kept it in, even though it had nothing to do with the art topic of the day.

[edit on 2-4-2008 by DJMessiah]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
Whatever it is, if the teacher allowed for a free (do whatever you want to)
kind of exercise, then, it's wrong to show preferential treatment!
Agreed?


I would agree with you if the policy of the class didn't include NO religious content. That means none. If she allowed someone to draw Buddah in their landscape, I would agree.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:16 AM
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You know, the drawing aint bad enough for a zero. She could at least gave him a 12 or 27 or something.

Is there a copy of the policy that we may dissect and understand?



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by DYepes
 


I think the point was that when he ripped up the contract/whatever he signed, that is what pissed her off. Therefore a zero.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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What does John 3:16 have to do with landscapes?

It was Biblical reference that the teacher asked him to take out, yet he still kept it in, even though it had nothing to do with the art topic of the day.

[edit on 2-4-2008 by DJMessiah]


I never said that John 3:16 had anything to do with a landscape, I am saying there is a landscape in that picture. I can see mountains for one thing.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:17 PM
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The legal organization that filed the lawsuit is the Alliance Defense Fund. I found a PDF of the complaint. Here's the link: www.telladf.org...
I don't know if most legal filings are as dramatic as this one is. I don't know where the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Bill Of Rights, applies to minors. When I was in high school, the Bill Of Rights did not apply to me. It only applied to adults.
Any lawyer would know that.

As for the art work itself, quality is not an issue. The student met the criteria of "landscape in charcoal or pencil" with at least "80% landscape" and up to "20% other content". The student was also supposed to submit a sketch outlining his concept prior to drawing the landscape. I haven't seen the sketch, so I don't know if the two are remotely similar. The student was asked to cover the "John 3:16" reference with a border before he finished his work. He chose not to.

I did my fair share of head-butting with my high school art teachers. And I learned that if I want a grade higher than zero, I better give them what they ask for -even if I think what they want is limiting my creative expression.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:25 PM
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Here's a question for all of you: WHY has the school prohibited religious drawings? I see no problem with any child depicting the symbols of their religion. That way, we could all learn more about different religions, which promotes understanding, which promotes peacefulness and tolerance for other religions. Why can't we simply enjoy the diversity?

When I was a psychotherapist, one thing I had to do was learn to "interpret" what was going on with a child in their drawings. If they drew something very violent and disturbing, you found out that something was not right with this child. Whether it was the parents being abusive or a neighboring molesting a child without their parents knowledge, this was a good way to begin to find out how messed up the kid was (or if he was at all messed up).

I think the school is missing an opportunity here to find out how the kid's were doing emotionally. I remember when I was 5 y.o., I was in a foster home where the mother had given me a black eye. I went to school 2 days later (the mother didn't want anyone to see me with a black eye, but she couldn't keep me out of school for 2 weeks without the social worker coming around.) But I still had an obvious black eye, as she had hit me in the eye with a metal spoon. Anyway, the teacher noticed the black eye and talked gently with me, asking me to play with some dolls in a dollhouse. When I had one of the parents hitting the child, that's when she knew something was going on. I believe she then made arrangements to have the foster parents checked out. They were warned that one more time like this incident and they would have their foster care license revoked. I was never hit again.

See what I'm getting at?

This stupid school policy is more about control and avoidance of problems, than it is about common sense. And the students pay the price.

BTW, I'm not Christian, but I support this child's and all others, freedom of expression.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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I'm willing to bet that there was a bit of attitude on both sides here. The kid apparently didn't follow guidelines as specifically as he should have but I will bet you that the teacher had more on her mind than just the assigned subject matter. Furthermore, before labeling the drawing as "not good" maybe think in the abstract (not something I go for) as it could very possibly be just that.

I used to butt heads with art teachers all the time as a student because I felt their assignments were limiting and stunted creativity. More often than not they had no choice but to give me high grades once they get the finished product.

If an art teacher is that stringent then they shouldn't be teaching a subject where creativity is at the core. I'm not going to say that this teacher had an agenda against Christians but if the shoe fits.....



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:35 PM
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If the kid is going to be an artist he better get used to failing school, pissing people off, and generally being an outcast.

If the kid is going to be a Christian he better get used to persecution. Revel in it - the entire religion is predicated on the notion that suffering is noble, so enjoy that bad grade. Sure, it's not exactly a crown of thorns, but it's a start.


And the next time your teacher tells you 'draw a landscape', try to recall how many landscapes you've seen with floating bible verses. I personally haven't seen any, but maybe I'm just not a true believer. The burning cross was a nice touch too. I'm sure Jesus would approve.

And what the Hell does John 3:16 have to do with anything? How does that go again...

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for the satisfaction of our egos? It's something like that . . .



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by forestlady
Here's a question for all of you: WHY has the school prohibited religious drawings?


They didn't, and no said they did. Seems like this kid is trying to make this sound like the school is banning all Christian symbolism and references, when in fact, the kid just couldn't follow orders and kept the John 3:16 in his artwork to either teach his faith, or anger the teacher.

I can see how having a non-burning cross in his artwork would have gone just fine, but as soon as he added the John 3:16, which had nothing to do with what the teacher was looking for in the student(s)' artworks, then he put himself in place to relieve a 0.

If an art teacher asks me to draw a person, or flower, I'm not going to put a burning crescent/moon with verses of the Quran all over it, because that's not what they're looking for.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:07 PM
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you can censor artistic expression .. art is here to make people think and look
out side there little box of a world they live in. if you cant handle what you see
then dont look at it. you have the option to close your eyes and turn away.

it dosnt matter how good the picture is, it dosnt matter what is it as long at the
kid did it to express something to other people.. freedom of expression.
this is what america should be about. unfortunately people are to scared.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:11 PM
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Something else people need to remember, is that school art classes aren't about stimulating creativity and all that. They're about teaching technique, which requires a certain amount of subordinate behaviour. They're also, much like most school assignments, about teaching kids you can't just do whatever you want whenever you want. People expect things of you, and you have to be prepared to deliver. That counts in the professional art world as much as school. Graphic designers for most companies don't just get to draw comics all day; they have deadlines to settle and clients to please. They have to develop the kind of art the client wants and needs for a given marketing campaign, and they have to do it on-time. Art isn't always all about doing what you feel. High school art classes are not the kind of feel-good exercise one gets from classes at your community center. It's an assignment just like any other, and if someone makes something outside the rules of the project or a previous agreement (as this kid did) then they get a bad grade. It's that simple.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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AT LAST,
I've found someone worse at drawing than me!

Seriously though, in a religious (chrisitan) country, why does a school have a blanket ban on religious artwork in art classes? especially when there are already religious figures on the wall...

just who was this offending?

Is this state perticularly known for being very PC?

All seems like a storm in a teacup to me - on both sides.
Although I do object to any restriction of freedom of expression, providing the expression is not offensive (see above - who was offended and why?)



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by budski
AT LAST,
I've found someone worse at drawing than me!

Seriously though, in a religious (chrisitan) country, why does a school have a blanket ban on religious artwork in art classes? especially when there are already religious figures on the wall...


It's not necessarily a "blanket ban". It was an agreement all the kids signed at the beginning of the semester that they would not use said imagery. They didn't have to sign it. They could have taken a different class.


just who was this offending?


As a non-Christian, I tend to get rather offended by the constant bombardment of Christian imagery in American society. My spiritual beliefs aren't even considered "official" by the US Government.


All seems like a storm in a teacup to me - on both sides.
Although I do object to any restriction of freedom of expression, providing the expression is not offensive (see above - who was offended and why?)


There is NO such thing as freedom of expression in school. There sure wasn't when I was a student--and that was before every school needed a metal detector to stop idiots from replaying the "Matrix" lobby gunfight in their cafeterias.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
If these 'art' projects are allowed, Our traditional art (for the U.S.) MUST ALSO!


You mean Enlightenment-era Deist art?

Or do you mean Native American art?



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by IAmTetsuo
 



I am totally down with native american art, that is some of the coolest stuff out there.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by The Nighthawk
There is NO such thing as freedom of expression in school. There sure wasn't when I was a student--and that was before every school needed a metal detector to stop idiots from replaying the "Matrix" lobby gunfight in their cafeterias.


I'm happy that someone hit the nail on the head.

Repeat: There is absolutely NO such thing as freedom of expression in glorified-dog-obedience-schools-for-human-puppies. Never had been. Never will. (Which is one reason why some parents, the ones who truly love their children, choose to homeschool.)

There is also no justice in the government educational system. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, "School justice is to justice what school music is to music."

I remember a time when drawing anything "demonic", "satanic", "cultic", or "blasphemous" in public school was a horrible political offense, but crosses were OK. This was a public school, not a Catholic or Christian one. Drawing Buddhas and Hindu gods were also legal - if you were from those traditions, or looked so. (Heaven help white kids who drew Buddhas or other "non-traditional" spiritual imagery.)

The more times change, the more they stay the same!



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:58 PM
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From a pretty strict interpretation of the Constitution is where my views come forth and I say that "Separation of Religion and State" means that the School cannot force it's opinions of religion upon any individual. This does not preclude the individual from suggesting his religious viewpoint upon the school.

Expression of spirituality is not a crime.

And I'm an atheist!



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by kelbtalfenek
From a pretty strict interpretation of the Constitution is where my views come forth and I say that "Separation of Religion and State" means that the School cannot force it's opinions of religion upon any individual. This does not preclude the individual from suggesting his religious viewpoint upon the school.

Expression of spirituality is not a crime.

And I'm an atheist!


No, it's not a crime. I went to a public high school and they fully allowed a Bible study group on school grounds, as long as it was not during classtime and a teacher was willing to allow their classrom for the group's use. But if a teacher sets forth ground rules for their class, and you sign a statement to the effect that you will follow those rules, you should expect punishment if you break them. I'm all for free expression. I do some artwork myself. But this instance is not about art, it's about rules that were voluntarily agreed to and then voluntarily violated--and the consequences of those actions.





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