Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Avoid Offense At Any Cost...

That seems to be the motto of those running many local government school systems.  This young man , A.P., drew a scene with a cross and scripture reference on it for an art class.  He was told to remove them because other students were making comments.  When he refused, he received a zero on the project.  Of course, when beginning the class, A.P. had to sign a policy prohibiting violence, blood, sexual connotations, or religious beliefs in the artwork.  But you cannot legally sign away your constitutional rights.  The school is arguing that class assignments can be censored, and that his drawing was infringing on the rights of the other students.


Any religious expression in a class art assignment might offend people.  But the school allows other types of religious expression.  Artwork depicting Medusa, the Grim Reaper and demonic figures are posted in the art room.  Additionally, depictions of a Buddha, Hindu figures, a robed sorcerer, and Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Man” adorn various areas of the school.  I guess the thought process goes, “Religious artwork is OK as long as the school approves it, but students shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves religiously while at school.” 


Doesn’t make much sense to me either.


The lawsuit seems a bit more rooted in logic when it says “Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.  No compelling state interest exists to justify the censorship of A.P.’s religious expression.”  Let us hope that logic wins out in this case.


Josh R.

No comments: