Student Sues Wisconsin School After Getting a Zero for Religious Drawing

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posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by forestlady
 


From a strictly theoretical point of view, I agree.
But let's face it, the line between church and state is very unclear, with many candidates getting extra votes for pushing their religious views, not to mention the role of the RCC in elections.

A theocracy? no
A christian country? yes
This is strictly from a realistic point of view - not the theoretical view of the constitution which is how it should be, but the actuality of the role of christianity.

Tell me the last time someone was elected on a platform of atheism, or even agnosticism.

You can push the theory of the constitution for ever, and what it's supposed to mean - we all know it doesn't work like that in practice.

I stand by my assertion.




posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:44 AM
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Originally posted by TruthWithin
Boo for this teacher?

How about BOO to people who have no courtesy? How about the idea that being an artist doesn't mean that you have to be a rude A-HOLE?


seriously? i saw the picture. it's not bad at all, and honestly if you take the cross out of the middle, no more controversy. Is it an A? not, maybe a D at worst, especially for high school. I'd give it a C.

but to call him a "rude A-HOLE?" For what reason? How is it rude to draw a cross. Stop brining personal issues and projection to topics.



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 07:35 AM
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Here is my take. The teacher asked the students to draw a landscape. This student decided to use the vanishing point technique taught in the fourth grade. He then added some clouds and a couple of triangles on the right which I suspect are supposed to symbolize mountains. Weak Sauce. The cross is the most prominent thing about the picture, even placed in the direct center so you cannot help but notice. He was supposed to draw a landscape not a cross on a highway with clouds and triangles.

As far as censorship in the art class goes,

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.


Shouldn't of signed that policy.

As far as the metal class goes, I do not understand enough about the situation to comment. Just going by the facts as I see them.

2 cents.



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by blackcats
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion


That's the important part. Meaning we are NOT a Christian country.



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by scientist
but to call him a "rude A-HOLE?" For what reason?


How about being a little brat and tearing up the contract that he signed? I'd call that a rude jesture.



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 02:43 PM
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As a college prof. I can attest that many of my fellow teachers are atheists, and many do have a bias against religion in general and fundamentalists in particular. They are also, as a rule, committed to multiculturalism and diversity and therefore much more likely to permit the religious expressions of a different culture while not tolerating the expressions of Christians.

I teach composition and constantly face the challenge of determining what would be permissable in the classroom. I myself am basically agnostic. After much thought, I decided to let the atheists write about atheism, the Wiccans about wicca, the Christians about Christianity, the Jews about Judaism, etc., the only stipulation being that the papers be well written and that there be no attacks on other belief systems. For the most part a student will choose to write one paper in a religious or non-religious vein and write the rest of their papers on other topics. It is a challenge when a student writes all their papers on the same subject and in a preachy way, and I try to guide them into a broader perspective. For the most part this works, but they are college level classes.

It must be more difficult to spell out exactly where freedom of expression ends when you're teaching on a secondary level.

IMO the student would have been smarter to avoid religious subject matter, and not try to provoke controversy as I believe he was doing. For her part I think the teacher probably does have a bias against religion in general.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by Sestias]



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:46 PM
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I hope the kid wins, mostly because there was an effort to draw put forth. The teenage did his assignment and the instructor didn't like it. Not everyone on this planet can draw beautiful pictures with roses to cover up the stench of this worlds agony.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Boo for this teacher?What would have happened on parent/teacher conference night when this teacher had to explain to 26 angry sets of parents why there is a picture of a burning cross on her wall? For the sake of some 14 year olds artistic expression?

So it's ok to paint a picture of the devil and hang it on the walls?
Or, It's ok to paint a picture of gang members and hang them?
But throw a little cross that is interpreted wrongly by many is wrong?
-----------------------
What I See in this painting is a kid that sees the world as it is but with Hope at the end of the road... clearly seen via his signature. A Sign of Love (or in his hand writing: a syn of love) is at the end of the road...

Does anyone ever think that maybe his interpretation of a burning cross is the fact that Christians ARE being persecuted, but that there is still HOPE at the end of the road?

A.P.'s Rendition of a Landscape is beautiful, I never got a zero in art and my Landscape sucked big time. The point is, We Will be Persecuted in all We Do!

[edit on 3/4/2008 by wyldwylly]



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by TXRabbit
 


I gotta agree.Forgetting about the religious implications..
I've seen some sucky pictures,but that's just the suckiest bunch of suck that ever sucked.

I mean the bit on the left? Is that supposed to be clouds,smoke or is it a tsunami?
Definitely sucky.



posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 03:50 AM
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What has this to do with the principle of separation of Church and State?

Why shouldn't a kid draw crosses (even burning ones) in art class if he wants to?

Why shouldn't children be allowed to express their religious beliefs in school?

Why shouldn't they, if they want to, get together in groups to pray, chant or practice yoga at break time (so long as they don't inconvenience or harrass anybody else while doing it)?

I am an atheist. An atheist, moreover, who considers religion an evil and dangerous thing. I look forward with pleasure to its demise.

I agree wholeheartedly with the principle of separation of Church and State. But I do not see how the private practice of religion by citizens, even if it is carried out on public property, infringes this principle. So long as the State and its representatives are not involved in promoting such practice I see nothing wrong. On the contrary, I believe it is just as contrary to the principle for the State and its representatives to make laws forbidding religious practice as it to make laws in favour of it.

Forestlady had the right of it, back on Page One.



posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
What has this to do with the principle of separation of Church and State?

Why shouldn't a kid draw crosses (even burning ones) in art class if he wants to?

Why shouldn't children be allowed to express their religious beliefs in school?


Because the Bill of Rights does not apply to kids in school. It didn't when I was in school, and it doesn't now.


Why shouldn't they, if they want to, get together in groups to pray, chant or practice yoga at break time (so long as they don't inconvenience or harrass anybody else while doing it)?


They can, in most schools I know of, as long as it's not during class time.


I am an atheist. An atheist, moreover, who considers religion an evil and dangerous thing. I look forward with pleasure to its demise.


Then why do you support an overtly religious kid for being a jackass about it?


I agree wholeheartedly with the principle of separation of Church and State.


Then none of this should have to be explained to you.


But I do not see how the private practice of religion by citizens, even if it is carried out on public property, infringes this principle. So long as the State and its representatives are not involved in promoting such practice I see nothing wrong.


See, that's the problem. Public school teachers are representatives of the State. They are State Employees. The State pays their salaries and sets their curriculum. Thus, public school teachers have to be very cautious about religious imagery in their classrooms, even if that imagery comes from a student. It could be argued that allowing kids to create religious imagery as part of a State-sanctioned class project is tantamount to a representative of the State endorsing said kids' religions, thus violating the Separation of Church and State. It's pretty simple, really.


On the contrary, I believe it is just as contrary to the principle for the State and its representatives to make laws forbidding religious practice as it to make laws in favour of it.


They're not forbidding anything. The teacher decided, rightly, that it was in their best interest to avoid any such issues (and the possibility of lawsuits, and/or losing their job) completely, and to that end created a contract the students signed at the beginning of the semester stating they would not use said imagery. This kid signed that contract. He voluntarily bound himself to the teacher's rules regarding acceptable subjects. e then chose to violate that contract and went so far as to rip it up in front of the teacher when he was called on the carpet for his violation. He was rude, insubordinate, and broke a rule he agreed to at the start of the class, because he apparently felt the rules shouldn't apply to him. He got a zero on the assignment. Frankly, I think he got off easy. Had I pulled that crap in high school I would've been kicked out of that class and forced to take some other class for the rest of the semester, along with a small mountain of detentions--maybe even a suspension.

Kids in school do NOT have rights. I fought that battle as a kid and lost. It's a fact of life. Get used to it. When you've graduated, or when you're back at home and want to wallpaper your fridge, you can draw all the crosses you want. When you're in a State-run classroom, taught by a State representative, working on a State-sanctioned project, keep it to yourself. Especially when you've signed a freakin' contract.



posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by The Nighthawk
 

I see nothing in your post to substantiate your position.

Considering this incident, if we eliminate fashionable paranoia and the typical American tendency towards overkill, what is left to justify this squashing of honest religious expression?

Where is the principle of freedom of conscience, which outweighs (being somewhat basic) the principle of separation of Church and State (which is intended, ultimately, to secure it)?

Repression strengthens faith and breeds fanatics. The best way to deal with these people is to ignore their antics and reject their message; then they have no option but to go away. All this hullabaloo just gets them noticed and gives them strength.

If teachers and other public employees just leave it alone and don't get involved, there'd be no pack drill. Just give the obnoxious little oik 3 out of 10 for his repulsive little scribbles, tell him it was because his drawing was crap and... end of story. He wouldn't even have had a case to bring to court. Instead, the teacher gives him a duck, doubtless reading him a high-minded lecture about the use of religious symbols in public schools at the same time, and finds himself at the business end of the Religious Right.

I will never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of ideologues (I mean the teacher, of course).

[edit on 4-4-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 03:21 PM
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yeah...I mean I don't think the kid deserves a 0, maybe a 50 for effort. I personally see no landscape in there, I just see a burning cross and I don't think a burning cross is very Christian. When I see a burning cross I think of the KKK, racism, and hate message. Maybe the teacher didn't like the burning of the cross, and gave him a zero......

I honestly think maybe the teacher should of let him redo his landscape drawing.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I see nothing in your post to substantiate your position.


My position needs no substantiation. Go to your local hgih school and read a copy of the student handbook. Students in elementary and secondary school do not have rights. Why even try to refute that?


Considering this incident, if we eliminate fashionable paranoia and the typical American tendency towards overkill, what is left to justify this squashing of honest religious expression?


It doesn't matter. You're looking for a root cause to justify what this student did, by stating the teacher (and, by extension, the school) was out-of-bounds from the beginning when in reality it's avery cut-and-dry case. The teacher set the rules for their class, wrote up a contract, and every student in that class had a choice to sign it or not. The student signed it and then not only deliberately broke the rule in violation of the contract, he also literally grabbed the copy of his contract and tore it up (I still assert he got off easy with that little stunt). He was treated the same as any other student would have been if they'd violated their contract with any other unacceptable subject matter.


Where is the principle of freedom of conscience, which outweighs (being somewhat basic) the principle of separation of Church and State (which is intended, ultimately, to secure it)?


What are you even talking about here? Are you trying to justify the kid's actions? Are you trying to say the kid's conscience led him to do something he knew was against the rules, and that because he decided the rules were "wrong" (students don't get that luxury--in fact nobody really does) it would be okay and in the end he'd be right? The world doesn't work that way. If he'd had a problem with the rules he should have made his choice at the beginning of the semester and taken another freakin' class. The fact he waited for this opportunity tells me this was carefully planned, and maybe not just by the student. Which leads me to...


Repression strengthens faith and breeds fanatics. The best way to deal with these people is to ignore their antics and reject their message; then they have no option but to go away. All this hullabaloo just gets them noticed and gives them strength.


Yes it does. That's why they train to use these self-same tactics, because they know such things cannot be ignored by authorities and will almost always cause a media circus. It's a no-win situation for the poor teacher, or for the school board. It's deliberate manipulation by fanatical whackjobs trying to make themselves out to be martyrs. They create repression for themselves where none truly exists, and then they laugh to themselves and soak up attention while the ones they hurt scramble to defend themselves from baseless accusations.


If teachers and other public employees just leave it alone and don't get involved, there'd be no pack drill. Just give the obnoxious little oik 3 out of 10 for his repulsive little scribbles, tell him it was because his drawing was crap and... end of story. He wouldn't even have had a case to bring to court. Instead, the teacher gives him a duck, doubtless reading him a high-minded lecture about the use of religious symbols in public schools at the same time, and finds himself at the business end of the Religious Right.

I will never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of ideologues (I mean the teacher, of course).


Why do you assume the teacher is an idealogue? Have you even considered the possibility that this teacher decided a contract was the best way to ensure the students would produce work that would be considered acceptable to higher school authorities? Imagine for a moment, that this teacher had accepted the drawing and put it up for display with all the other students' drawings in the classroom. That afternoon the Superintendent makes a quick visit to the classroom after the students have lft for the day. He sees that cross, and throws a fit. Suddenly that art teacher is in danger of losing their job, not because of a lawsuit from the student, but because by allowing the drawing as acceptable, they opened the school to lawsuits from other groups including students of different religious backgrounds who did follow the rules, and now feel put out or threatened by what will be described as the teacher's endorsement of Christianity. The teacher can't win either way. The contract is for CYA, and I bet this court case goes nowhere.


[edit on 4/6/2008 by The Nighthawk]



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 08:38 AM
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edit to fix mistake.


[edit on 6-4-2008 by crazywoot12atgmail.net]



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 09:03 AM
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Students in elementary and secondary school do not have rights. Why even try to refute that?


Is that what you believe????

I've got two children in primary AND intermediate and I do the signing FOR them.
There is no signing away their rights!

I sign a no-violence policy and most of the time I do not give my permission to show artwork and photos on-line.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 11:06 AM
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Bill of Frights


Originally posted by The Nighthawk
Go to your local hgih school and read a copy of the student handbook. Students in elementary and secondary school do not have rights. Why even try to refute that?

I am not American, and I do not consider an American high school handbook (or, for that matter, the American Bill of Rights) to be the last word on the subject of who has rights, and who does not.

I said:


Considering this incident... what is left to justify this squashing of honest religious expression?

to which you replied:


It doesn't matter.

On the contrary, it matters a great deal. The crux of the question is whether or not the teacher's act was justified. The actions of the child are neither here nor there.

And what's all this nonsense about getting schoochildren to sign contracts, anyway? I had heard that American society is oversupplied with lawyers, but I had no idea the craze for litigation had warped your social institutions to such a degree. Contracts for children, forsooth! How can it be anything less than iniquitous to make a person with no rights assume any form of liability?

You added:


You're looking for a root cause to justify what this student did...

I am not. I consider his behaviour disruptive and attention-seeking, not to mention obnoxiously self-righteous. And I have no doubt he meant to provoke; boys will be boys. The point is, they should be treated as such.

And when I asked:


Where is the principle of freedom of conscience, which outweighs (being somewhat basic) the principle of separation of Church and State (which is intended, ultimately, to secure it)?

you replied:


What are you even talking about here?

It saddens me that you have to ask. You're a liberal, aren't you? At least what Americans call a 'social liberal', even if you might be an 'economic conservative'? And when I invoke one of the basic principles of liberalism you ask me what I'm talking about?


Are you trying to say the kid's conscience led him to do something he knew was against the rules, and that because he decided the rules were "wrong" (students don't get that luxury--in fact nobody really does) it would be okay and in the end he'd be right?

How convoluted. Of course I meant nothing of the kind. I repeat: this has nothing to do with the boy's actions and everything to do with the teacher's.


Why do you assume the teacher is an idealogue?

Because only an ideologue would have been so insensitive to the real-life dynamics and politics of the situation. A pragmatic techer would have defused the confrontation by handling it with a degree of sensitivity -- easy enough to do, since he has the upper hand in the immediate situation.


Have you even considered the possibility that this teacher decided a contract was the best way to ensure the students would produce work that would be considered acceptable to higher school authorities?

I believe children are in school to be educated, not to 'produce work acceptable to higher school authorities'.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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Pretty simple actually.

The teacher created a contract that the students agreed to sign. Although it may not be legally binding or anything, it is a good faith agreement with the teacher. If the student had a problem with it, it should have been brought up then.

That aside, teachers are on a tight leash when it comes to everything they do. One wrong move and a teacher is fired. So, the first thing that they do is keep controversy out of their classroom. They can't afford not to.

And had the student followed the instructions and drawn a simple landscape everything would have been fine. Had he addressed the situation in a reasonable way instead of tearing up a contract that he signed in good faith, it would have been fine. But instead he decided to be a douche about it.

And of course there will be examples of world religion in a social studies class room, it makes sense and is part of the social studies curriculum.

People need to step back, stop taking personal offense and look at situations objectively.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 03:44 AM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 
Thanks for the clarification, Ras. I accept all that you say. Nevertheless, I stand by my arguments, which are that

  1. This kind of extreme, unthinking legalism is not a realistic interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and State: it is a fetishization of it, another example of how some Americans appear to see the US Constitution as an object of veneration and worship rather than a work in progress (as all such documents must be by their very nature).

  2. The principle of separation of Church and State is merely a principle in constitutional law; it must defer to the greater principle of freedom of conscience, which is a principle of natural justice.

  3. In fact, it is precisely freedom of conscience that the principle of separation of institutions was intended to serve, and the teacher's actions in this particular case amount to nothing less than an attempt to use the latter to pervert the former.

  4. Americans should take Prince Hal's programme of government in Henry V to heart and act on it -- the sooner the better, for your nation and your souls.

  5. Teenage boys should be raised by men, not by bureaucrats and ambulance-chasers.


[edit on 7-4-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 07:03 AM
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Hmmm, I could never draw or paint well but dang that picture sucks.

Second, what the heck? Little brat signed a contract and broke it. If I break a contract I'm sued, he gets a 0.

Also, why do we want to represent a religion that has over 25,000 pedophiles in America alone, that we know of, that were protected by the Pope who was told in 1967? A religion that then put a NAZI! in power after the pedophile protector died. A religion that committed genocide on the Jews, Indians, and started several wars with the Muslims over land that was never theirs to begin with. A relgion that used to kill people for teaching the Earth was round or not the center of the universe. A religion that wants to ban any science that doesn't mold with what they believe. A religion that makes the Muslim Sucide Bombers look tame. A religion that says it's ok for their holy people to rape women in Africa as long as the women don't have AIDS.(The Nuns have DIED from failed abortions because condoms are a sin but raping them isn't)

Yes, let's have that in our classrooms but persecute the Witches or Buddists...(Is that spelled right?)



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

This kind of extreme, unthinking legalism is not a realistic interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and State: it is a fetishization of it, another example of how some Americans appear to see the US Constitution as an object of veneration and worship rather than a work in progress (as all such documents must be by their very nature).


It is an object of veneration. It's the line in the sand that government is not supposed to cross. Yes, it's a work in progress, but for those parts of it currently in existence, it is and will always be a source of constant squabbling and interpretation.


The principle of separation of Church and State is merely a principle in constitutional law; it must defer to the greater principle of freedom of conscience, which is a principle of natural justice.


No, because the Constitution is the very basis of all American rights and law, "principles of Constitutional law" have a very big impact on how things here are run. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion along with the Separation of Church and State, the Right to Bear Arms--all of these impact everyday life in America. You said you're not American; if you haven't lived it I don't know how well I can explain it to you.


In fact, it is precisely freedom of conscience that the principle of separation of institutions was intended to serve, and the teacher's actions in this particular case amount to nothing less than an attempt to use the latter to pervert the former.


Again, teachers in the American public school system don't have much of a choice. They get their marching orders just like any other worker. Sometimes those orders put them in a no-win situation like this.


Teenage boys should be raised by men, not by bureaucrats and ambulance-chasers.


So when my father died and I was seven, my mother should have immediately re-married the first guy who made eye contact? For someone else who claims to have liberal views, that's a pretty misogynistic statement to make.

As for my own liberal views, even I have to concede sometimes that things are the way they are. Again, it's hard to explain if you didn't live through the American public school system, but the fact is, kids in public schools here do not have rights. It is honestly that simple, and it's spelled out in black-and-white.

The public school system in America used to be about education. Now it's glorified daycare. With No Child Left Behind, teachers are forced to teach kids to pass specific tests. If the kids don't pass, schools lose Federal funding, and the teachers lose their jobs. School right now exists to keep kids off the streets and force-feed them facts and figures. They're being taught what to think, not how to think. Teachers don't really have "freedom of conscience" to handle situations as they see fit. They're under tight control and CYA is the word of the day. Otherwise you're looking for a new job, and it's hard to find a new teaching job if you got fired from the last one for handling a student's gorss insubordination the wrong way. Unfortunately, often, there's no "right" way, at least as far as school boards and communities are concerned. It's sad, but it's true, and until the Bush Administration goes quietly into the night and the system is fixed, that's how it will be.

[edit on 4/7/2008 by The Nighthawk]





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