8 year old Suspended from School over Drawing of Jesus

Discussion in 'The Refreshment Lounge' started by Blake Bowden, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    A Taunton father is outraged after his 8-year-old son was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    The father said he got a call earlier this month from Maxham Elementary School informing him that his son, a second-grade student, had created a violent drawing. The image in question depicted a crucified Jesus with Xs covering his eyes to signify that he had died on the cross. The boy wrote his name above the cross.

    “As far as I’m concerned, they’re violating his religion,†the incredulous father said.

    He requested that his name and his son’s name be withheld from publication to protect the boy.

    The student drew the picture shortly after taking a family trip to see the Christmas display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, a Christian retreat site in Attleboro. He made the drawing in class after his teacher asked the children to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas, the father said.

    “I think what happened is that because he put Xs in the eyes of Jesus, the teacher was alarmed and they told the parents they thought it was violent,†said Toni Saunders, an educational consultant with the Associated Advocacy Center.

    Saunders is working with the boy’s parents after a mutual acquaintance referred them to her.

    “When I got that call, I was so appalled that I had to do something,†Saunders said.
    “They weren’t looking at the fact that this is an 8-year-old child with special needs,†she added. “They made him leave school, and they recommended that a psychiatrist do an evaluation.â€

    The school, in fact, required the evaluation before the boy could return, the father said.

    Maxham School principal Rebecca Couet referred all questions on the matter to the superintendent’s office.

    Superintendent Julie Hackett said district policy prevents her from discussing a “confidential matter regarding a student.â€
    “Generally speaking, we have safety protocols in place,†Hackett said. “If a situation warrants it, we ask for outside safety evaluations if we have particular concerns about a child’s safety. We followed all the protocols in our system.â€

    Hackett refused to specifically discuss the student’s drawing or the school’s reaction to it.

    The father was flabbergasted when he learned his son had to undergo an evaluation.

    “When she told me he needed to be psychologically evaluated, I thought she was playing,†he said.
    The man said his son, who gets specialized reading and speech instruction at school, has never shown any tendency toward violence.

    “He’s never been suspended,†he said. “He’s 8 years old. They overreacted.â€

    The boy made the drawing and was sent home from school on Dec. 2. He went for the psychological evaluation — at his parents’ expense — the next day and was cleared to return to school the following Monday after the psychological evaluation found nothing to indicate that he posed a threat to himself or others.

    The boy, however, was traumatized by the incident, which made going back to school very difficult, the father said. School administrators have approved the father’s request to have the boy transferred to another elementary school in the district.
    This is not the first time in recent years that a Taunton student has been sent home over a drawing. In June 2008, a fifth-grade student was suspended from Mulcahey Middle School for a day after creating a stick figure drawing that appeared to depict him shooting his teacher and a classmate.

    The Mulcahey teacher also contacted the police to take out charges in the 2008 incident.

    http://www.eutimes.net/2009/12/8-ye...ychological-evaluation-over-drawing-of-jesus/
     
  2. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/...cials-deny-fathers-claims-about-Jesus-drawing

    One thing that is fairly easy to prove is whether or not someone was suspended.

    And the two stories on that point contradict, and there are already lawyers involved so the evidence will come.

    A follow up question to this story is - if your young child was suspected drawing himself on the cross, would you totally ignore the suspicion it might have been of him and not see it as a problem if it was? Or would you be proud of it?
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure if you're a married man with children, but if my son were grilled three times, he would probably tell you that Mickey Mouse was on the Cross.
     
  4. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I have three kids, home schooled for almost a decade and in public school for the first time. As a public school student I attended school board meetings and battled many items and know how hard it is for teachers to stand up, much less a student.

    Either the child was suspended or not. That's and easy piece of documentation for anyone to produce and the two sides disagree on that basic element.
    A piece of paper sent home with a child which the lawyers use to file suit...

    But again - I know we often cast teachers as evil these days - but if they had reason to think the child might be following suit of another child who did something similar - should they ignore it - because it mentions jesus?
    If a teacher, as stupid as they are???? believes a student crucified himself on a cross in art - should they ignore it and not ask for follow up?
     
  5. cambridgemason

    cambridgemason Premium Member Premium Member

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    it comes down to money. on both sides there are two different stories and they keep changing.
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    There was a follow up to this story that ran on CNN somewhere. The school came out after the father released the drawing and the school stated that the picture going around is not the picture the boy drew. It also stated that the reason the boy was suspended was the boy drew a picture with his eyes crossed (X's) and when asked who the picture represented the boy stated himself. That is why the teacher followed protocol. I feel this has been blown out of proportion by the religious groups. We ask our schools to prevent violence and to protect our children. Then when they follow predeterminined procedures we get mad. All the school asked is for the child to have a psychological exam. The family refused and the boy was suspended. Oh and when the media tried to contact the father again he is refusing to comment, now why would he involve the media and when his story is questioned he refuses to answer.

    I have no problem with the school doing what we ask them to do and protect our children. Even if it is a misunderstanding. Flip it and if it was a drawing of the child and the child had suicidal thoughts (they do at 8 as well) and goes through with it. How would that make you feel as a parent if the child showed these signs to the teacher. Its loose loose for the school.

    This isn't the article on the CNN but similar.

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/21971287/detail.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  7. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Blake, do you believe the school was in the wrong for doing this? If it was your child how would you feel? Would you not go seek a psycological evaluation as the school requested or would you call the news outlets?
     
  8. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i'm on drape's side (i think), here... this story seems pretty convoluted. it would best be left up to three people and three people alone: first the parent... if they don't want the kid in that teacher's class, then take them out and tell all their friends to take them out of that teacher's class if they want to, and feel that the teacher violated their kid so badly. second: psychiatrist, if there is one involved: my parents are shrinks, it's amazing how apt they are at assessing situations like this and suggesting routes to take. third: the teacher: this person has been working with the kid for months, and if there were a reason that this teacher felt like this kid needed to go to a shrink, then maybe that's something people should consider.

    people that shouldn't be involved: 1st: lawyers. lol.

    seriously, though, the teacher made this judgement call based on (hopefully) years of experience. if the parents want to get all bent out of shape that the teacher mentioned the word "psychiatrist" as if it has any negative connotation at all, then they are wrong.

    but sense we're discussing it, let's take it statement by statement:

    wait. what? "they weren't looking at the fact that this is an 8 year old child with special needs so they recommended a psychiatrist?"

    that doesn't even make sense. that's why they recommended him a psychiatrist. because they obviously thought he was "special need." that and the term "special need" drives me nuts. i was "special needs" all throughout school... spent 4 years in a gifted and talented program and then aced all my classes. i also excelled at sports. i was special need. this term has the wrong connotation use towards the public, even though the denotation is correct. this is probably why the kid thought the whole ordeal was traumatic. adults making a big deal out of nothing.

    all in all, i think this experience was more traumatic for the father than anyone else involved.

    good. my parents were shrinks. i think shrinks should be part of a yearly medical exam.

    sounds like years of experience talking here. why is anyone questioning this?

    situation ended, then. what's the problem? the kid got to see a shrink and got a half day of school. this is a bad thing? i'd be happy.

    school is traumatizing. life is traumatizing. good thing a shrink was there to help along the way.

    :: sigh ::
     
  9. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I believe this issue should of been handled privately by the family.
     
  10. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    sweet mother of awesome, i believe so to. i was thinking that you believed differently.
     
  11. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    ... !
     
  12. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    .. ! back at ya! lol. or i mean. lol .. !
     
  13. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I wonder in reading it if the parents and teachers would have just talked if things wouldn't have worked out better....the good news is...lawyers are involved so everything will be fine soon :)
     
  14. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    It's strange to me how these schools will jump up, and suspend a student for something like this, or any so called violent tendencies, but they by the same token absolutely refuse to admit there is a drug problem there... Do they get reward points or money for school projects when they report a child's drawing, or a couple of 1st graders standing up to one another, and get it taken away if they report and admit the drug problem?? Maybe this is where the drug problem stems from, and I could be going backwards with it. If this child stated it was him on the cross, just how do the teachers, administrators, and shrinks figure he got there?? Kind of hard to do it yourself. Maybe there is someone at school making threats, and he figured that since we are taught this was done to Jesus, and he ended up on a cross, maybe the child thinks he will too. Too many variables here, too many unanswered questions, but the drug problem is real... I made the arrests on school property, I transported them to juvenile detention, and I went back, picked them up, released them to their parents. This was all AFTER the school called with the problem, the evidence in hand, juvenile probation contacted, and the juveniles taken before a magistrate, with evidence shown, and juvenile officers, and school admin present to answer the magistrates questions. Seems the Districts did not have a problem, and did not want a problem... But we'll crucify a kid for drawing something religious, while perhaps reading all the wrong things into it.
     
  15. TexMass

    TexMass Registered User

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    Up here in the NE they have cleared up a a few inacuracies in the original reports on this incident.

    -The boy was not suspended.
    -They didn't originally tell you that the boy had wrote his own name above the body on the cross.
    -The picture shown by the media was not the one in question, it was kept by the school distict.
    -The class was asked to draw something that reminded them of the holidays not Christmas.
    -They could not confirm if the picture was drawn at school.
    -They may have over reacted because recently a boy had drawn a picture of himself with guns and knives around him that other people had seen and soon afterward comitted suicide.

    The story up here in MA died pretty quick after the rest of the information came out. The Principle could not comment due to District regulations and that just fueld the fire. Even the Mayor of Taunton, MA demanded an apology until she heard everything. It must have been a slow news day.
     

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