Great moments in Christmas: School says Jesus on cross “violent image”

posted at 10:55 am on December 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

One eight-year-old in Taunton just learned a valuable lesson in political correctness, and a school district may wind up learning a little something about free speech, religious expression, and not asking questions to which one does not want to hear the answers.  An elementary school student was asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas.  When he drew a picture of Jesus on a crucifix, the teacher and the administration recoiled in horror at the “violent image.”  No, really:

An eight year old elementary school student in Taunton was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick figure picture of Jesus on the cross.

The  second grader at Maxham Elementary school was told by this teacher that the drawing was violent.  This was after the class was asked to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas. …

The father tells the “Taunton Gazette” because his son put Xs  on the eyes of Jesus, the teacher thought it was violent.

But he drew Jesus with a smile!  Doesn’t that count for anything?

It’s hard to imagine a more clueless, knee-jerk response than the one given by this school.  First, Jesus on a crucifix has been a symbol of Christianity for two millenia.  Since Christmas is in fact a Christian holiday, at least nominally, the crucifix in this drawing clearly came from Christian symbolism and not some latent threat of a reenactment of the last scenes of Spartacus from a second grader. How dense or deliberately obtuse must a teacher and administrators be not to understand the symbolism involved in this drawing?

The story does end on a happy note.  The father of the student has been given permission for his child to attend another school in the district.  They should have transferred the teacher and the administrators instead, preferably to quiet rooms with as little contact with children as possible.  The real threat here is that the gross stupidity will infect the students.

Update: We headlined this, but I should update the post with the school’s response (hat tip from Twitter DTipson):

But after a few days on the cross themselves — and staying silent because of confidentiality issues — Taunton school officials began telling a much different story. In a statement posted on the system’s Web site, school officials said that in fact the boy had never been suspended, the teacher never requested that the children make a drawing that reminded them of Christmas or any religious holiday, and that the drawing that the boy’s father distributed to the media is in fact not the one the boy’s teacher discovered and was concerned about.

The school said it could not provide further information for reasons of confidentiality, but it noted that until Chester Johnson spoke to the newspaper the family and school officials had been “working together in a cooperative and positive manner.” It said all proper protocols had been followed and that school officials would do the same thing again if presented with similar circumstances …

Johnson acknowledged that his son was not suspended but insisted the drawing was the one that upset the teacher. He added that his son wrote his name above the Christ figure and said it was a self-portrait. It was also reported that in June 2008 a fifth-grade student was suspended from a local middle school for a day after he drew a stick figure that appeared to show him shooting his teacher and a classmate — an event that led some to believe the incident with the second-grader may have been related to that episode and heightened concern over possible school violence since the Columbine massacre.

Still, Johnson wasn’t backing down. The Boston Globe said he “held court” for the media at his girlfriend’s apartment Tuesday, insisting that the school apologize and that his son’s rights were violated. “It hurts me that they did this to my kid,” Johnson said. “They can’t mess with our religion; they owe us a small lump sum for this.”

So the school disputes what the father said, and the father is still sticking to his story.  The “self-portrait” claim seems a little beyond a second-grader, but not impossible.  Even so, demanding a psychological evaluation over a drawing of a crucifix seems very, very strange — and if the school would do it again, I’d still wonder whether parents wouldn’t do better to follow Johnson’s lead and send their children somewhere else.


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It’s a scary scary time for Christians.

I’ve never thought my ability to believe the way I believe would be under attack until the end times. Maybe these are.

gophergirl on December 15, 2009 at 11:09 AM

I don’t see it that way. This is the perfect time to be a Christian. It’s our turn to be on the cross with sad gladness and no hate. It is our time to be a Palin. ;-)

TwilightStruggler on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Im thinking I would NOT have moved my child to another school. I would have demanded the the teacher be reprimanded and perhaps filed suit. Where’s the ACLU on this one? This is a violation of his basic civil rights…which children still have in the public school setting.

What if it had been a Muslim student who drew a pic of a jihadi when asked what reminds them of Ramadan?

becki51758 on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I guess none of these teachers or administrators is Catholic then. They better not ever visit a Catholic Church. They’ll need years of counseling to recover from all the horrific images they’d see there.

Public “education” must end. I live for the day our public schools are relegated to the ash heap of history. They will not be missed.

NoLeftTurn on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Which is more violent? Fisting or Christ dying for our sins?

MainelyRight on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I’m not really that well informed about this, but The only disturbing dead-man-on-cross images I have seen have been from Catholics. The Protestants I have seen only use the simple cross, so I presume that their kids would be about as likely to freak out over it as I was.

Has anybody asked the question of if this kid was actively using this as a violent image, simply disguised by the fact that it happens to also be a holy symbol?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

I’m not Catholic and I knew what the kid drew. It also seems a bit too far-fetched for a child his age to decide to subversively sneak in a violent imagery using a common Catholic image.

gwelf on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Actually, I live in Texas, and several years ago, a relative’s little girl came home and was supposed to draw something about Christmas. The little girl (who was in 2nd grade) worked for an hour drawing a manager scene. The mother checked on her periodically, and the scene was very beautiful. Suddenly, the little girl sat up, picked up the drawing and crunched it into a ball. Startled, the mother said, “Why did you do that?” “I forgot. We can’t have anything with Jesus in it.”

Literally, that story is why my kids go to Catholic schools.

UnderstandingisPower on December 15, 2009 at 11:31 AM

And they wonder why God invented satire.

Kudos for opting into parochial ed, too.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:34 AM

OH! And this is a perfect thread to post this speech by Newt. He is spot on about what our nation faces on this front:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtjfMjjce2Y

UnderstandingisPower on December 15, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Another good example of why my children are home schooled.

Hammerhead on December 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Exactly. That’s why two of my three girls are home schooled. I am in Massachusetts and would like to add that there is indeed push back to this type of nonsense. The number of kids being home schooled is shocking to me. I didn’t know of even one kid that was home schooled when I grew up in the ’70′s, now with just an e-mail to the group, you can assemble thirty or more kids for a semester long class in just about any subject. Also, the resurgence of private and parochial education in this area is quite remarkable. A new Catholic High School has opened this year with great success, private schools are doing quite well, too.

Funny anectode or two: my neighbor across the street works for the local school system as a title one teacher – all three of her kids have been pulled out of the public school she works for and placed in Catholic schools. A local man who spent a term on the school committee here is now featured prominently along with his family on the brouchure of a private school – ouch!

So, no, not all of us in MA are crazy, but we have our hands full.

turfmann on December 15, 2009 at 11:35 AM

I assume the school is in session this coming December 25?

Trusser13 on December 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

If a 2nd grader is drawing pictures of an electric chair execution, it is probably worth a conversation with the parents. In this case if the child was drawing an image of Christ in response to Christmas it is understandable, but maybe still worth referring to his priest or pastor if the image seems focused on the violence.

dedalus on December 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Further, from the image, that could be anyone on the cross. What if the kid had intended it as a classmate? I’m not saying that he did, but what if he had? There isn’t a lot of context to go with this story.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

The real threat here is that the gross stupidity will infect the students.

I 100% agree with this. What in Gods name is happening here? Are people truly this abhorent of Christianity, and Christians? Perhaps they’d be happier being Islamic, and revel at the woman being stoned to death, because of an accusation, rather than being tried with truth, evidence, and logic?!?!

capejasmine on December 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Public “education” must end. I live for the day our public schools are relegated to the ash heap of history. They will not be missed.

NoLeftTurn on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Public schools must end…public education, via funding scholarships for all kids to choose any school, is just fine with me.

WashJeff on December 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

MainelyRight on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Don’t tell me you think a sexual act is more violent than a manner of execution.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

The kids head and heart were in the right place. Christmas is about Christ not some shiny bauble. I feel that the only lesson learned by the child here is to suppress and or be ashamed of his faith. Probably the teachers intention all along.

JackS on December 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

First, Jesus on a crucifix has been a symbol of Christianity for two millenia.

Wrong. It’s been a symbol of catholicism. A large part of that time, catholics were persecuting christians, burning them at the stake, etc.

read foxe’s book of martyrs sometime.

TTheoLogan on December 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

*~@:{(>

Seven Percent Solution on December 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Further, from the image, that could be anyone on the cross. What if the kid had intended it as a classmate? I’m not saying that he did, but what if he had? There isn’t a lot of context to go with this story.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

You’re kidding, right? The child was asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas, and he drew Jesus on the cross, because of his upbringing, and religious teachings. You think like the teacher, and administrator. Everyone panicked, and didn’t bother to use the brains God gave them. Sad to see a fellow American going that route.

capejasmine on December 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Further, from the image, that could be anyone on the cross. What if the kid had intended it as a classmate? I’m not saying that he did, but what if he had? There isn’t a lot of context to go with this story.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

For those idiots who can not comprehend the cross as a symbol of Christmas, let me just remind you that without the cross there would be no Christ and therefore no Christmas. Christmas is based on the cross morons. Christmas is the celebration of The birth of Christ who would be crucified as an adult. The Christmas star is a cross too by the way.

Guardian on December 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Further, from the image, that could be anyone on the cross. What if the kid had intended it as a classmate?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

I think you jumped the shark with that one. The kid is right, and the school staff is wrong. Let it go.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I guess none of these teachers or administrators is Catholic then. They better not ever visit a Catholic Church. They’ll need years of counseling to recover from all the horrific images they’d see there.
NoLeftTurn on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I worry more about the people that pass off a scene of a brutal execution as a family friendly environment.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Public schools must end…public education, via funding scholarships for all kids to choose any school, is just fine with me.

WashJeff on December 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Second that motion. It’s being done elsewhere with great success…but here the public school system has a stranglehold on the majority like the old Ma Bell phone company or the Standard Oil ‘octopus’.

Dark-Star on December 15, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I think you jumped the shark with that one. The kid is right, and the school staff is wrong. Let it go.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Are you sure? No doubt that you aren’t been played?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

“Can we link Christian complacency and sporadic support for violence and some of the ways we have interpreted the suffering and death of Christ?

Historians have uncovered a heavy load of damning history suggesting such a link. These include forceful conversion under threat of death, pogroms, crusades, conquests, and land grabs in the name of Christianity under the symbol of the cross.

In 1488 Bartholomew Diaz planted crosses along the coast of Africa as he “discovered” the Cape of Storms. The cross immediately became an instrument of land claim, a symbol of political power, and a brutal tool used right into the 20th century by the South African apartheid regime.

Women have pointed out how violent images of redemptive suffering have inspired spousal and child abuse. Some theologians even claimed that the story of Jesus’ suffering on the cross becomes divine child abuse.”

The Toronto Star
April 9, 2004 Friday Ontario Edition
The brutality of the cross
Charles J. Fensham

dave742 on December 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I’m about as atheist as they come and I don’t even understand these stupid people.

The Calibur on December 15, 2009 at 11:10 AM

What The Calibur said

DarkCurrent on December 15, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Taunton, Mass. – 4th Congressional District
Barney Frank – 4th Congressional District
-
Surpised?

diogenes on December 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM

You’re kidding, right? The child was asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas, and he drew Jesus on the cross, because of his upbringing, and religious teachings. You think like the teacher, and administrator. Everyone panicked, and didn’t bother to use the brains God gave them. Sad to see a fellow American going that route.

capejasmine on December 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

So, if a child had drawn a scene of someone’s heart being cut out for a ritual sacrifice because it was part of his religion, you would have no problem with it?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM

So, if a child had drawn a scene of someone’s heart being cut out for a ritual sacrifice because it was part of his religion, you would have no problem with it?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Count to 10- what rock did you crawl out from under? The crucifix is a pretty universal symbol. Yes, it is certainly a symbol of violence- one Catholic’s use to remember how Jesus died for our sins.

I was not raised Catholic, but I knew what the symbol was and what it meant.

To project that the child in this class may have been intending a classmate is outside of any scope of logic. You and the teacher are probably soul mates.

cibolo on December 15, 2009 at 11:45 AM

dave742 on December 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

One marvels at the threads that bring out our resident child-rape supporting anti-Semitic Chavista…

PimFortuynsGhost on December 15, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Im thinking spousal and child abuse is caused more by an obsessive, controlling drunken spouses and pervs. Not by the cross. geez

becki51758 on December 15, 2009 at 11:46 AM

I worry more about the people that pass off a scene of a brutal execution as a family friendly environment.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Are you sure? No doubt that you aren’t been played?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I read your post straight. My apologies for missing the sarcasm.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Laura Ingraham is bringing this up on her show.

becki51758 on December 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM

As an example of hair trigger, knee jerk, beauracratic busybody headless chicken buffoonery – good example.

As an example that ‘advanced education’ – in that the officials involved all probably have degrees from institutions of higher learning – doesn’t really make idjits without any inherent common sense any smarter – good example.

As an indicator that public schools are employing the epitome of the above two examples, who haven’t the first clue how to deal with children – good example.

Let’s, the kid draws something that conflates several complex concepts (for an 8 year old) – and the ijits panic, instead of maybe just sending the work home with a note for the parents to discuss the complex concepts with the child further, thus strengthening the working relationship between the parents and the educator, for the benefit of the child.

Oh, but forget that. Obviously, not having come to this conclusion via several years of undergraduate study and beer bonging, and relying more so on my anecdotal experience as a parent, I’m totally ‘unqualified’ to venture such an opinion.

related – Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever. V.I. Lenin

In the current US public education, the period is 12 years. Overkill, or simple inefficiency? Apply Occam’s razor and discuss.

Wind Rider on December 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM

So, if a child had drawn a scene of someone’s heart being cut out for a ritual sacrifice because it was part of his religion, you would have no problem with it?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Sweet f**king crackers. What a comparison. Exactly how many kids subscribing to such a religion do you estimate are in the average public school?

Good grief. You’re a nonsequiter master.

MadisonConservative on December 15, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Public schools must end…public education, via funding scholarships for all kids to choose any school, is just fine with me.

WashJeff on December 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

This is actually not a bad idea, and would have bought me a couple of European vacations and a new living room set over the years, though it makes me nervous — I’d require that any school that accepts any scholarship students must accept a certain minimal percentage who are scholarship-only, so that this doesn’t become a huge subsidy for wealthy families.

On the other hand, the charter school movement is having much the same effect here in DC.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

This is just one of a number of verses where Jesus clearly indicates it is His plan and His desire to die for the salvation of mankind. The young boy showed the joy of Jesus in doing this when he made the face a smiling face. He also showed that he understands that Jesus came to earth for the purpose of dying for mankind. That kid has got some good parents and he’s learning well!

It’s really too bad that a generation or two has grown up without knowing about Jesus, without attending church or reading a Bible. If they only knew the freedom and joy that comes when we have a relationship with Jesus they would run to it. But how will they know if no one tells them and how will anyone tell them if they are not sent?

I hope everyone will have the joy of Christ in their heart before the end of this year. Merry Christmas!

Know It All on December 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I think someone needs to Count to 20 and re-think their arguments.

BioTeachEd on December 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I would bet $100 to a bag of horse turds…
chicken thief on December 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Um, why would anyone want to win that particular wager?

myrenovations on December 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM

since the teacher’s probably think that mackDaddy is the messiah, they naturallu assumed that the kid drew a pic of their messiah being crucified. And that would be against the law. They acted appropriately

davidk on December 15, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Taunton, Massachusetts is nicknamed the Christmas City.

Ted Torgerson on December 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I read your post straight. My apologies for missing the sarcasm.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM

What sarcasm?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM

a huge subsidy for wealthy families.

On the other hand, the charter school movement is having much the same effect here in DC.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 11:48 AM

“Tax the rich” and “affirmative action.”

davidk on December 15, 2009 at 11:53 AM

What sarcasm?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:53 AM

I feel like I am going to have to start drawing a fish in the sand to make sure the person I am talking to won’t turn me into the authorities if I am identified as a Christian. I am heartsick for the country we live in. It’s funny. I remember in Sunday school as a young girl when learning about the persecution of early Christians. I was so relieved that I did not have to live with that persecution. NEVER did I believe at the time I would be facing it personally in my lifetime.

AusTex girl on December 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Taunton, Massachusetts is nicknamed the Christmas City.

Ted Torgerson on December 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM

You mean it’s not Frankenmuth, MI?

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

If I am not mistaken,Taunton is in MASS[outside Boston},,so what else would you expect. When I go back there[from Colorado Springs] to visit my mother and sister,,,I am very careful not to drink the water and I bring my SCUBA tanks with my own air. One cannot be too careful.

retiredeagle on December 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

MainelyRight on December 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Don’t tell me you think a sexual act is more violent than a manner of execution.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Yes, fisting is more violent. And no words I can express to convince you to that fact, I’m afraid. The way I see it, one is playing god and the other one is doing God’s will.

-

TwilightStruggler on December 15, 2009 at 11:55 AM

The second grader at Maxham Elementary school was told by this teacher that the drawing was violent.

Jesus on the cross is a symbol of the violent reaction of some people in power, against someone trying to save them from themselves. Although Jesus on the cross is more a reminder of Easter than of Christmas, it should be remembered that, shortly after Jesus’ birth, King Herod ordered all baby boys under 2 years old killed, because he feared baby Jesus’ challenge to his own power.

The use of violence to preserve corrupt power continues to this day. How many Chinese were killed by Mao? How many Russians were killed by Soviet leaders? How many Iranians have been killed by Ahmadinejad?

The truth, out of the mouths of babes, sometimes hurts.

Steve Z on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

I think someone needs to Count to 20 and re-think their arguments.

BioTeachEd on December 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Maybe, just maybe, you guys can step out of your “all things Christ are good” mindset and look at this from a more neutral standpoint? The kid isn’t being punished for expressing a religious concept, he is being punished for depicting a violent act. Would you be okay with a Muslim majority school allowing students to draw pictures of beheadings?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Since the teacher’s probably think that mackDaddy [I guess this means Obama?] is the messiah, they naturally assumed that the kid drew a pic of their messiah being crucified. And that would be against the law. They acted appropriately.

davidk on December 15, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I have to admit I never considered that possibility. You may have solved the mystery! Congratulations.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Don’t tell me you think a sexual act is more violent than a manner of execution.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

That’s a non sequiter, Holger.

Apples & Oranges in this case, I’m afraid.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Sounds like the teacher is the one who needs psychological testing.

reaganaut on December 15, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Maybe, just maybe, you guys can step out of your “all things Christ are good” mindset and look at this from a more neutral standpoint? The kid isn’t being punished for expressing a religious concept, he is being punished for depicting a violent act. Would you be okay with a Muslim majority school allowing students to draw pictures of beheadings?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:58 AM

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Oh, grow up.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

AusTex girl on December 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Just draw the fish vertical and it becomes a symbol of the Goddess. As for the Cross, add a loop up top and claim to follow the Egyptian Religion.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

The crucifixion of Christ was incredibly violent. It is indeed a violent image.

What should bother us is how we’re neutering our children by assigning a totemic power to “violence” regardless of how or why it occurs.

Sometimes violence is necessary. Not pleasant ever, not preferable, but occasionally necessary. We live in a dark and dangerous world and always will – human nature makes it that way. That we’ve chosen to preach the philosophy of nice doesn’t make it any less so.

Regardless, this occurred for one of two reasons:

1. Teacher is dumber than a bag of hammers and didn’t recognize what she was looking at.

2. Teacher is a PC nazi and/or militant Atheist trying to make an example of the kid.

Both examples deserve either firing in the case of number 1, or serious reprimand in the case of number 2.

Or better yet, ditch the public school system and bring on the charter schools.

TheUnrepentantGeek on December 15, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Oh, grow up.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

/ad hominem

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

You see, you have no rational basis for your arguements, so you’re left with mere rhetorical devices.

Thanks for playing.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Would you be okay with a Muslim majority school allowing students to draw pictures of beheadings?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

I’d be fine with it if Mohammed was beheaded for his faith the same way Jesus was crucified for his–and for the Redemption of all men before Him and since Him.

You’re over-rationalizing to absurdity. I guess you’re an ‘intellectual’, huh–the kind of person who’s the proverbial barrel of monkeys that everything is more fun than? Or that no one can be more dumb as?

Liam on December 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Maybe, just maybe, you guys can step out of your “all things Christ are good” mindset and look at this from a more neutral standpoint? The kid isn’t being punished for expressing a religious concept, he is being punished for depicting a violent act.

So what about kids playing the game ‘Hangman’ then? When I was a kid the teacher would draw it on the blackboard. Nobody thought it a brutal, distrubing image of an execution because it was just a stick figure. Executions of stick figure drawings are not disturbing to mentally normal people.

aengus on December 15, 2009 at 12:04 PM

The kid isn’t being punished for expressing a religious concept, he is being punished for depicting a violent act.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

You’re saying that the crucifiction of Jesus Christ is more a violent act than a religious concept?

Did you manage to type that with a straight face?

MadisonConservative on December 15, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Well, the teacher is partially correct here. The crucifixion of Jesus was, in fact, a violent act. But given the historical and religious context, the drawing was appropriate — just as an assignment to “draw a picture that reminds you of Lincoln’s birthday” could legitimately include a picture of the Lincoln assassination.

My concern is that a student drawing a religious picture of something that he/she would see in any church, in many homes (or hanging around the neck of classmates and teachers at the school) would result in the kid being sentenced to psychological assessment/treatment. That smacks of religious bigotry of the highest order.

RhymesWithRight on December 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM

You see, you have no rational basis for your arguements, so you’re left with mere rhetorical devices.

Thanks for playing.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Writes the guy that has been responding to my arguments with the same attack each time. Your insight is less than impressive.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Would you be okay with a Muslim majority school allowing students to draw pictures of beheadings?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Two huge differences:

1. Crucifixion is an archaic method of execution. Most people don’t “see” a cross as violent in the way an electric chair or a guillotine is. Beheading really does take place routinely in some societies, so carries a far more violent imagery with it.

2. Much more to the point, I am certain that the child intended no violent effect in his picture. The whole controversy was completely avoidable and the teacher showed amazingly incompetent judgement. The teacher’s error was to judge a child’s work by adult standards; in short, to put an adult worldview on the child.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Oh, grow up.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Christ suffering for the sins of mankind is totally equivalent to beheading someone for Jihad.

Moral equivalence mania!

TheUnrepentantGeek on December 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Please tell me you didn’t just chastise a kid for drawing the UNIVERESAL symbol of Christianity as a Christmas theme.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Many Christians observe Christ’s birth by also noting the reason he came, which was to die for us. For example, it is not unusual to put nails or a cross on the Christmas tree, along with more usual ornaments of course.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 11:10 AM

I’m not Catholic but isn’t the crucifix a permanent staple in the Catholic church instead of the plain cross?

The kid may be Catholic and that’s what he sees and remembers during Christmas services.

Regardless – the kid is not an idiot.

gophergirl on December 15, 2009 at 11:12 AM

OK, maybe I was a bit harsh by calling the kid an idiot. After all, he is only 8. I went to Catholic school and during the Christmas season, we focused on Jesus’ birth. We had a Jesse Tree near the front door of our school, and all that groovy stuff. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross never came into the discussion. That was always taught really heavy during the Easter season. That’s how my school rolled. Maybe other Catholic schools did it differently.

mizflame98 on December 15, 2009 at 12:06 PM

So what about kids playing the game ‘Hangman’ then? When I was a kid the teacher would draw it on the blackboard. Nobody thought it a brutal, distrubing image of an execution because it was just a stick figure. Executions of stick figure drawings are not disturbing to mentally normal people.

aengus on December 15, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Key phrase, cats and kittens.

TheUnrepentantGeek on December 15, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Writes the guy that has been responding to my arguments with the same attack each time. Your insight is less than impressive.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM

That you miss the point is not my fault.

You’re a mental midget, and your posts have been showing it.

Thanks for playing.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:08 PM

The teacher is obviously a nervous nelly of a nutjob.

Don’t move the child – move the teacher – to another profession.

AprilOrit on December 15, 2009 at 12:08 PM

….and a little child shall lead them.
[Isa. 11:6, 8-9].

Hening on December 15, 2009 at 12:08 PM

What if the kid had intended it as a classmate?

Are you sure? No doubt that you aren’t been played?

! Come on.

I mean, please – classmates crucifying classmates (8-10 age group) are way down now in MA since the Don’t Crucify your Classmates campaign, and the new ID checks for buying beams at lumber stores.

There was that scene from Grand Theft Donkey: Hot Jerusalem Nights, but that’s been banned as well.

reaganaut on December 15, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Maybe, just maybe, you guys can step out of your “all things Christ are good” mindset and look at this from a more neutral standpoint? The kid isn’t being punished for expressing a religious concept, he is being punished for depicting a violent act. Would you be okay with a Muslim majority school allowing students to draw pictures of beheadings?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Yet you cannot grasp that this violent image is a common Christian image – one that an 8 year old could reasonably think of when asked to draw something that reminds them of CHRISTmas.

gwelf on December 15, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Crucifixion tends to be violent.

duh

Spathi on December 15, 2009 at 12:09 PM

You’re saying that the crucifiction of Jesus Christ is more a violent act than a religious concept?

Did you manage to type that with a straight face?

MadisonConservative on December 15, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Most likely, the teacher is trying to be fair and religiously neutral. Remove the religious element to the drawing, and you have a clear depiction of violence.

Actually, now that I think about it, if a child responds to a “what do you feel about religion” with the most violent image associated with that religion, isn’t a psychological evaluation appropriate? Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe the kid is fixated on violence and death, and is only hiding it behind a pious facade.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

OK, maybe I was a bit harsh by calling the kid an idiot.
mizflame98 on December 15, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Just a few “hail marys” outta get you back in good graces :P

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Crucifixion tend to be violent. duh

Spathi on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Don’t move the child – move the teacher – to another profession.

AprilOrit on December 15, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Logical, but impractical, as the teacher almost certainly has a lot more protection than the student.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Teachers look for opportunities to teach their students. Had there been a teacher of this class, this drawing would have been such an opportunity.

“Students, some people think of presents and Christmas trees, while others think about their Christianity at Christmas. It means different things to different people.”

This really isn’t complicated. How long must children be subjected to this idiocy before we privatize education?

Bugler on December 15, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Playing devil’s advocate here, often when some behavior or act sounds really nuts, there is more to the story. However, the school can’t say anything due to privacy rights. Still, I can’t think of any way imaginable that this drawing would be considered violent or inappropriate to any one.

Blake on December 15, 2009 at 12:11 PM

So, if a child had drawn a scene of someone’s heart being cut out for a ritual sacrifice because it was part of his religion, you would have no problem with it?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Actually, that would probably be protected speech if the kid is of Mayan descent.

mizflame98 on December 15, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Would you be okay with a Muslim majority school allowing students to draw pictures of beheadings?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Nope, I won’t be ok with that. Beheading violates rule #2 which is “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Any religion that sees beheading is a good thing should behead themselves first.

TwilightStruggler on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Actually, now that I think about it, if a child responds to a “what do you feel about religion” with the most violent image associated with that religion, isn’t a psychological evaluation appropriate? Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe the kid is fixated on violence and death, and is only hiding it behind a pious facade.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

*~@:{(>

/argumentum ad absurdum

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

I wonder how many of you Christians though would be speaking a different tune if the kid drew instead violent imagery from another religion such as the death and resurrection of Osiris.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

PimFortuynsGhost:

One marvels at the threads that bring out our resident child-rape supporting anti-Semitic Chavista…

There were no threads about child rape or Jews or Chavez, so I am forced to post here.

dave742 on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

This is amazing! “Maybe” this and “maybe” that.

Maybe some Muslims will fly planes into skyscrapers, too.

Oh, wait! that’s already happened. Never mind…

Liam on December 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I mean, please – classmates crucifying classmates (8-10 age group) are way down now in MA since the Don’t Crucify your Classmates campaign, and the new ID checks for buying beams at lumber stores.

There was that scene from Grand Theft Donkey: Hot Jerusalem Nights, but that’s been banned as well.

reaganaut on December 15, 2009 at 12:09 PM

You almost got me fired due to laughing at work! I’d better take a lunch break before I really go over the top.

jwolf on December 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM

violent imagery from another religion such as the death and resurrection of Osiris.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Meh. That’s what tatoos are for.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Maybe, just maybe, you guys can step out of your “all things Christ are good” mindset

Ya, good luck with that. That’s the funniest thing I’ve read today. “Hey, you Christians, drop that ‘all things Christ are good’ baloney!”

Seriously?

Just re-read your own statement and try to grasp the complete stupidity of it.

reaganaut on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

You’re a mental midget, and your posts have been showing it.

Thanks for playing.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I have been trying to break the people here out of a rut of sloppy thinking, and I’m the “mental midge”? I already “get it” — I know what your objection is. I’m trying to tell you to step back from your knee-jerk reaction.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Most likely, the teacher is trying to be fair and religiously neutral. Remove the religious element to the drawing, and you have a clear depiction of violence.

Actually, now that I think about it, if a child responds to a “what do you feel about religion” with the most violent image associated with that religion, isn’t a psychological evaluation appropriate? Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe the kid is fixated on violence and death, and is only hiding it behind a pious facade.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

So we don’t have enough context to conclude the child was simply drawing a Christian symbol that reminds him of Christmas but we do have enough context to conclude this child is probably disturbed and possibly violent and a psychiatric diagnosis is in order?

I hope you don’t have any kids…and heaven forbid they decide to pick up a stick and play ‘army’ with other neighbor kids.

gwelf on December 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Actually, now that I think about it, if a child responds to a “what do you feel about religion” with the most violent image associated with that religion, isn’t a psychological evaluation appropriate? Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe the kid is fixated on violence and death, and is only hiding it behind a pious facade.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Oh give me a break.

Maybe, assuming the kid had some kind of history of behavior this might be an indicator of issues. Maybe if he’d done other drawings depicting violence.

But to jump to that conclusion based on this alone? Simply a sign that Atheism makes you neurotic about religious people.

TheUnrepentantGeek on December 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

I am wondering if this teacher is a Christian, sounds like they may be Jewish.

Unfortunately 15 – 20 years ago allot of this anti-Christmas drama was started by Jews – some in my parent’s temple come to mind – who really had serious problems with Crosses and Christmas trees abounding and not enough representation of our holiday symbolism. One couple relocated to a small community in New Jersey and really stirred up the town for not displaying a large Menorah etc.

AprilOrit on December 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I wonder how many of you Christians though would be speaking a different tune if the kid drew instead violent imagery from another religion such as the death and resurrection of Osiris.

Holger on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

I’m ok with that.

TwilightStruggler on December 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I have been trying to break the people here out of a rut of sloppy thinking, and I’m the “mental midge”? I already “get it” — I know what your objection is. I’m trying to tell you to step back from your knee-jerk reaction.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

It’s pretty clear to everyone here that you’re the one in the rut, MM.

But, again, thanks for playing.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Christmas is Jesus’ birthday!

Not the day he was beaten and nailed to a cross and left to die.

What a poorly indoctrinated child.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Ya, good luck with that. That’s the funniest thing I’ve read today. “Hey, you Christians, drop that ‘all things Christ are good’ baloney!”

Seriously?

Just re-read your own statement and try to grasp the complete stupidity of it.

reaganaut on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

So, you give up all pretext of living socially with non-Christians? Further, anything can be excused if the claim is made that it is a show of Christian piety?

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:17 PM

I have been trying to break the people here out of a rut of sloppy thinking, and I’m the “mental midge”? I already “get it” — I know what your objection is. I’m trying to tell you to step back from your knee-jerk reaction.

Count to 10 on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Yeah, you didn’t have a kneejerk reaction at all. I can see how you studied the facts with clinical detachment and arrived at your most logical of conclusions.

Or maybe you fail at reading.

“They weren’t looking at the fact that this is an 8-year-old child with special needs,” she said.

A school committee member reacts:

The man, who asked that his name not be used to protect his son, said his son gets specialized reading and speech instruction and has never been violent in school.

He said he thought it was a joke when told his son needed an evaluation, and thinks the school overreacted.

The boy was cleared to return to school on Dec. 7 after the evaluation found nothing to indicate that he posed a threat to himself or others. But his father said the boy was traumatized by the incident and the school district has approved the family’s request to have the child transferred to another school.

Talk about lazy thinking.

TheUnrepentantGeek on December 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Christmas is Jesus’ birthday!

Not the day he was beaten and nailed to a cross and left to die.

What a poorly indoctrinated child.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Jesus was born in March, by all accounts.

Christmas merely covers up the Winter Solstice…an actual violent affair.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM

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