Tuesday, December 15, 2009

8 Year Old Boy Sent Home for Drawing Crucifix

There was a line in the Three Stooges that Moe used to deliver when he would slap Larry or Curly. "Every time you think, you weaken the nation." Such a line well describes an elementary school principal in Taunton, Massachusetts. A little boy in the second grade was sent home with orders to his parents to have him psychologically evaluated because he drew a crucifix when he was told to draw something that reminded him of Christmas. Breitbart News reports as follows on the bizarre incident.

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."

It seems that the boy told his father that he had drawn himself on the cross he submitted for the class assignment. The school apparently was concerned that the boy drew x's for eyes. Despite the fact that the boy had no history of violence, the school wanted a psychologist to sign off on the safeness of his return to school. The boy received remedial speech and reading help from the school, and nothing had come up during his tutoring sessions that would have been cause for alarm.

What is troubling about this story is that the parents were not consulted about what might have been going on in the boy's life that would inspire such a drawing. It turns out that the family was devoutly Christian. For them, Christmas was a religious holiday devoted to the founder of their faith. The crucifixion is, of course a central event in Christianity. The only odd thing about the story is that the boy identified himself as being the figure on the cross. if he was identifying with the central figure in his family's faith, that would be fully understandable. If x's on the eyes meant that the figure on the cross was dead, that would also be normal, since crucifixion a common Roman means of execution at the time of Jesus.

Had the teacher or principal bothered to ask, they would have found out that the boy had visited the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, which includes crucifixion statues. According to the father of the boy, the visit to the shrine was fresh in his son's mind.

The boy was reportedly traumatised by his brush with the school administration and was not comfortable with returning to school. Although the Taunton school system did not apologise for their heavy handed and insensitive handling of the incident, they did approve the boy's transfer to another school.Superintendent Julie Hackett has refused repeated requests for comment.

I am sure that there are Santa Claus pictures and reindeer on rooftops poortrayed in the Taunton schools. But it is shocking that the Taunton school district is so completely unfamiliar with the sensitivities of those families who view Christmas as a central religious holiday. The episode speaks volumes about the times we live in and the alienation that religious Christians must often feel in public schools. Any religious parent, whetherChristian, Jewish, or of any other faith who decides to send their children to public schools would probably be well advised to supplement their child's public school education with a religious education and activities program. Massachusetts schools have been very hostile to religious concerns, even mandating that kindergarteners be educated about homosexuality, and fighting to impose this policy in court. David Parker, a Lexington Massachusetts father was arrested when he attempted to speak with his son's principal about" King and King", a homosexual story book being read to his son's class.


It is unfortunate that citizens who guide their families according to their religious traditions are so thoroughly marginalised in our society. Anyone who is able would probably be well advised to send their children to schools that reinforce rather than undermine their family's faith. Unfortunately, this means paying for public schools and one's own private school at the same time, which is an additional outrage. Whatever your faith, be it Christian, Jewish , Muslim or almost anything else, you can rest assured that your public schools will be busy at work trying to undermine it. When you are teaching your children about the King of Kings, your children will go to school and read about "King and King". Is this what we want?

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