Student Sues School After Getting A Zero On Religion Drawing

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by White Rain, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. White Rain

    White Rain Active Member

    Messages:
    4,831
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    MADISON, Wis. — 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. To tell a student his religious beliefs can legally be censored sends the wrong message."
    Tomah School District Business Manager Greg Gaarder said the district hadn't seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,344350,00.html
     
  2. Loading...


  3. Floh

    Floh Former Member

    Messages:
    7,748
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Shame. there have been some truly wonderful pieces of art inspired by religion.
     
  4. Paladin

    Paladin Former Member

    Messages:
    2,395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The teacher's an idiot.
     
  5. KOOL LOOK

    KOOL LOOK ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal,

    Messages:
    6,671
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds like the teacher walks and lives on the dark side.
     
  6. White Rain

    White Rain Active Member

    Messages:
    4,831
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I happened to think the drawing was nice.
     
  7. deanws

    deanws Former Member

    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I love the drawing.
     
  8. IrishMist

    IrishMist You can't control the wind - but you can adjust yo

    Messages:
    7,469
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    36
    That's a pretty heavy charge, don't ya think, Kool? More likely than not, the teacher over-reacted in trying to protect the school district. There's a HUGE misconception out there about what schools can and can't do in terms of religious activities.
     
  9. WholeLottaRosie

    WholeLottaRosie Dancing on a moonbeam!

    Messages:
    2,405
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0

    No kidding. Pretty heavy indeed.

    If you click on the link and read the entire article it seems there was no problem with the drawing until the student added the bible verse and when the teacher asked him to remove it he refused and then tore up the policy .
     
  10. mywarmbluefleece

    mywarmbluefleece New Member

    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Did anyone force the other students who it offended to look at it? Obviously, if the teacher was that upset by it she didn't hang it up.
     
  11. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

    Messages:
    16,021
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    think this lawsuit is important. If this school has guidelines about religious expression and this boy was told that his expression infringed on other students's rights, then why do they have other religious iconography about the school as well as teachers who teach some of it. They are sending confusing mixed messages.

    I've long felt that it is ridiculous to remove religion from education. Religion (if only from an historical perspective) is a part of every subject under the sun.
     
  12. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

    Messages:
    3,641
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am atheist, but I think that this school's policy against religion in artwork is absurd and I support the student's lawsuit. It is totally ridiculous to disallow religious themes and symbols from artistic expression. Some of these educators do not understand the separation of church and state. The prevention of schools/teachers from alienating students or sanctioning one religion over others through organized prayer or other religious practices does not mean that students should be made to feel ashamed of their religion nor should they be prevented from expressing their beliefs as long as they are not imposing it on others. There is no law against prayer in school. Any child may do so if he/she wishes. It just cannot be dictated or organized by the school or school officials. A student including religious symbolism in an art assignment or in a creative writing assignment is the same thing. There is no law against that, nor should there be. What is not allowed is for the teacher to require a student to create piece of religious art or literature.
     
  13. White Rain

    White Rain Active Member

    Messages:
    4,831
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    What a great post! It's so nice to see people who can look at OTHER sides regardless of what they think/feel!
    :clap:
     
  14. Eire

    Eire New Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So, was it right for the boy to tear up the policy when the teacher handed it to him? I think the teacher wasn't necessarily right, but neither was the student. If he didn't like her decision, he should have appealed to the principal, not torn up the policy. I'm sorry, but his behavior wasn't exactly stellar.
     
  15. Eire

    Eire New Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rarely do I feel the need to comment on remarks like this, but for once I'm going to. How on earth do you know that? That's a pretty nasty thing to say considering all she did was give the kid a zero.

    Pardon me for a moment while I venture in to rant mode here, just because she doesn't share your views doesn't mean she lives on the "dark side" whatever that means. I'll shut up now because anything else I say will earn me a time out.
     
  16. sherri79

    sherri79 Former Member

    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    no the teen screwed up. he should have taken it to the principal and when the principal backed the teacher he should sue. the school supports this policy in more than 1 class and that is wrong. the student had every right to be upset but should have handled it the way he did after he lost his temper. the lawsuit is not about him getting kicked out of class for acting out. he acted out and was punished. the lawsuit is about his right to freely express his beliefs.
     
  17. sherri79

    sherri79 Former Member

    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i would not have chosen the words "dark side". i would not have chosen the words "only gave him a zero". to punish a child because they express religious beliefs is wrong imo. if it rises to the level of evil is another question entirely.
     
  18. Waterlily

    Waterlily New Member

    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree that the students reactions intially weren't ideal, but I imagine it would be extremely upsetting to be given a zero for something you had worked hard on, and to be made to feel like your religious beliefs were not acceptable. IMO, art is about freedom of expression - I have seen many pieces of art work in public places that I personally find offensive, but don't expect them to be removed! If you don't like it, there's no need to look at it.
     
  19. Eire

    Eire New Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I didn't say "only", what I said was all she did was give him a zero. Meaning, she didn't molets him or attack him, she failed him on an art project. Hardly evil incarnate. He wasn't punished until he tore up the policy.

    Let me ask this and I know I'll be jumped all over, but what the hell. If this was a Muslim student or a Pagan student, would we be calling the teacher one who walks on the "dark side?" I highly doubt it. We'd be saying we're tired of Muslims thinking they don't have to obey the rules or that Pagans were probably drawing demons. Bottom line, other students complained, he was asked to remove the Bible verse and instead tore up the school policy. There is no excuse for that. Again, had it been a student of a different faith, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
     
  20. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

    Messages:
    7,188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Is this a public school? Do they receive public funds? Is it even possible for a minor student to sign away their constitutional rights?

    "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."
     
  21. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

    Messages:
    7,188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just found the student handbook and found this juicy little tidbit in there:

    The Tomah Area School District shall not discriminate in standards and rules of
    behavior or disciplinary measures, including suspensions and expulsions, on the basis
    of a student’s sex, race, national origin, religion, color, ancestry, creed, pregnancy,
    marital or parental status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional or learning
    disability or handicap. Discrimination complaints shall be processed in accordance with
    established school board procedures.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice