Mass. 2nd-grader sent home for crucifix drawing

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by capoly, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. capoly

    capoly New Member

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    TAUNTON, Mass. – An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after he was asked to make a Christmas drawing and came up with what appeared to be a stick figure of Jesus on a cross, the child's father said Tuesday.
    Chester Johnson told WBZ-TV that his son made the drawing on Dec. 2 after his second-grade teacher asked children to sketch something that reminded them of the holiday.
    Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross......

    The father said in the days before the incident the family had gone to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, where there are crucifixion statues.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091215/ap_on_re_us/us_jesus_drawing
     
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  3. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    Ok, having a son that goes to Catholic school, I think I might ask about the X's on the eyes. I don't think that question is necessarily newsworthy, nor should the child be sent home. What happened to talking to a parent first?

    My son is gonna make the news one day if stories such as this are actually 'news worthy' - no offense to the OP. I think it's a a good topic with regards to schools being over the top.

    Imagine my first experience with telling my now 1st grade son, not everyone believes in Jesus, or are Christian. I had to explain that one, one day after he told me he and one of his two best neighborhood friends who is 1st generation with folks and grandfolks from India he just wasn't going to stop his 'debate' until his friend told him he believed in Jesus. I was waiting for his friends parents to come talk to me about that....

    It was an opportunity to talk about our differences at a much younger age than most of us are accustomed to.

    After reading this article, I have to wonder just exactly what this childs PARENTS taught him that he was so afraid to draw a picture of Jesus, with X eyes.... or ????

    I'm not buying the X's for eyes for the reason the parents gave.

    jmo
     
  4. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Are they upset because Jesus didn't die on Christmas?

    Crikey, was he supposed to draw the mall?
     
  5. momtective

    momtective Lifetime WS Non-Mod

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  6. capoly

    capoly New Member

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    lolol Right....he was asked to draw a picture of something that represented the holidays to him. Teacher got what she asked for......


    Cubby, Am wondering if the "x's" were actually meant to reflect stars of light? Christmas lights often give off streams of light....the x's may well be what the boy saw as he looked in awe upon the crucifix scene.

    I find it hard to believe an educated person (teacher) saw something ominous in this child's artistic endeavor.
     
  7. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    This is SO sad. What are the schools up to these days? Totally off-topic, but one of my sons friends rec'd lunch detention because he missed the trash can. He went back and picked up the trash and put it in the bin, but because he walked a few steps, turned around, then put it in the bin....busted. The teacher said "only because you saw me is why you went back". I know this child and I know he's not like that!

    In response to the OP - I hope the parents do something about this evaluation! I like to say "Jesus is the reason for the season"!

    MOO

    Mel
     
  8. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    Okay, the picture is a bit disturbing. Not psych eval disturbing. At the most, I would be inclined to say maybe the school social worker should be contacted.
    Not because there is anything wrong with the kid, but if he hears "Jesus died on the cross", and draws himself on the cross...I would be worried for his safety, maybe he is being threatened, and that is his only way to express it. That was my first instinct on seeing the picture. Not to send him home and call on the shrinks.
     
  9. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I'm just not getting the hullabaloo at all. I don't find that picture disturbing in the least - even the Xs for the eyes - the kid could have seen that in a cartoon and mashed it all together. Psychological evaluation? Sending him home from school? That's nuts - what am I missing?

    Maybe if this kid had an established history of other odd behavior, drawings, etc....I would consider this picture as a stranger indicator than what I see. Kids do, say and draw weird things. And he was asked to draw a holiday picture. Christmas is a holiday about Jesus's birth.

    My 1st grader comes home with all sorts of drawings of sword battles - that's his thing these days. I wonder if this school would have him visiting a psychiatrist.:rolleyes:

    ETA - Jesus on a cross is a gruesome symbol, to be honest, but many of our kids are weaned on it (at least here in the South). And little boys are often fascinated with death and torture and all that. Jesus on a cross hits all those buttons.
     
  10. Boyz_Mum

    Boyz_Mum New Member

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    Why are the "X's" for the eyes so disturbing?

    It's an 8 year old who drew the picture, not Michelangelo.
     
  11. Lovejac

    Lovejac These boys are my heartstrings!

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    Good grief! He completed the assignment didn't he? He was asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas, jeeeeezzz!

    I don't find that picture disturbing in the least. I was reading a book to my 4 yo son recently and there was a picture of a fish that was dead and it had X's for the eyes. He asked what that meant and I told him.

    Ever play the game 'Hangman'? I did at that age and I remember using X's for the eyes, too. I don't understand the reaction of the school.
     
  12. jnTexas

    jnTexas Can't wait for softball and baseball to start :-)

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    If my daughter drew that I would be proud to know that at school the first thing she thought to draw that represented christmas was Christ. Guess the little guy should've drew himself sitting in front of a tree with an xbox, wii, ds, bike, candy, toy guns, skate board, etc.. that would be more politically correct. seeing as this holiday has turned into the rich man's holiday!!
     
  13. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    There's a link on the same page to another story about this suspension of the child. The school is denying that they ever asked kids to draw a pic of something reminding them of Christmas, plus they say that this drawing being show to the media is not the pic that was "discovered" at school. I'd like to know why the school is denying this or there is not good communication. Obviously the boy did draw a pic of Jesus because the figure has long hair. The school was probably hounding the poor child. I've been through that before with my grandson. This boy receives special ed in reading and speech. They're most likely trying to blame the parents for his learning problems and they probably are demanding he receive the help he needs plus some which is the parents' right. Schools get away with causing severe trauma to some students and their families. . I hope Chester gets his son transferred. Suspension while undergoing counseling is ridiculous IMO.
     
  14. truecrimejunkie

    truecrimejunkie New Member

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    heres the school's side of the story
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091216/ap_on_re_us/us_jesus_drawing

    the truth probably lies somewhere in between. It reminds me of when i was working in a school a few yrs back. There was a 2nd grader who told his parents that the substitute teacher taped his mouth shut in school. Parents went ballistic, called in the local media. School was slow to respond while getting their facts straight about the incident. turns out it was during a quiet work time some of the kids were having a hard time keeping quiet, so one of the kids walked up to the teachers desk and asked for a piece of tape, other kids followed, and it became a bit of a joke,everyone wanted to tape their mouths shut. Point is, its easy to see how things can get misinterpreted. parents have a hard time trusting the school, schools, wary of lawsuits arent always forthcoming with information.
     
  15. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    Thanks so much, TCJ. I appreciate this link and I agree that there is more going on here than meets the eye. It is interesting to read that the picture the boy's Dad portrayed to the media is, according to the school, NOT the picture at issue.

    Also, it seems to me, that the school tried to address their concerns privately and appropriately with the family and the family overreacted a bit. I understand how defensive it can make a parent feel when school says "hey - we have some concerns about your child."

    In any event, I hope they can work this out maturely and to the benefit of this boy!
     
  16. truecrimejunkie

    truecrimejunkie New Member

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  17. hoppyfrog

    hoppyfrog Retired WS Staff

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    I swear I heard on the radio that the school said that the drawing the dad displayed to the media was not the correct drawing. I wish I could find a link.... Makes me think Dad is not telling an accurate story.

    ETA: "It was last evening when the school superintendent responded, issuing a statement saying that the boy had not been suspended, that the drawing that prompted some concern was not the one of Jesus on a cross (she did not describe the other image) and that students had not been asked to make sketches about Christmas 'or any religious holiday.' " from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2009/12/cross_jesus_suspension_school.html


    Hoppy
     
  18. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    I do agree that if a school demands psychological or any other testing in order for a child to attend school then they should provide it. They provide (and are reimbursed by plans like Medicaid) all sorts of therapies and even doctors to check for ADD.
     

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