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2nd-grader sent home for crucifix drawing [Obama: "We're No Longer Just A Christian Nation"]
AP Report ^ | December 15th 2009

Posted on 12/15/2009 5:44:07 PM PST by Steelfish

2nd-grader sent home for crucifix drawing Dad says teacher became upset when boy drew himself on a cross

Dec . 15, 2009 TAUNTON, Mass. - 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.

Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross. Johnson, who is black, told WBZ he suspects racism is involved. He said he thinks the school overreacted and wants an apology.

Johnson told the Taunton Daily Gazette, which first reported the story on Tuesday, that his son gets specialized reading and speech instruction and has never been violent in school.

An educational consultant working with the Johnson family said the teacher was also alarmed when the boy drew Xs for Jesus' eyes.

A call to Johnson was not immediately returned.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antichristianbigotry; christianstudents; christmas; cross; discipline
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1 posted on 12/15/2009 5:44:07 PM PST by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish
The teacher needs to be sent to sensitivity classes ~ and then anger management.

Time for papa to teach the kid to draw eyeballs.

2 posted on 12/15/2009 5:50:48 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: Steelfish

Sounds like the kid’s a little off, but a more appropriate way to address it would be for the teacher to a arrange a conference with the parents and a school counselor or principal. I understand that teachers are expectetd to do *something* when one of their students produces writing or artwork or speech that could be a sign of considering self-harm or suicide, but if you’re worried that a young child is mentally unstable in a dangerous way, reacting by sending him home “in trouble” is more likely to trigger some sort of flip-out than head it off.


3 posted on 12/15/2009 5:55:56 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: muawiyah
Not so fast. From the OP:

Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross

That and the X's for eyes (which children frequently use as meaning death) would alarm me, too.

This teacher didn't punish the kid, per se. He/she just wants an evaluation.

The headline doesn't accurately describe what happened. This isn't persecution of Christianity.

4 posted on 12/15/2009 5:58:49 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Steelfish
“alarmed when the boy drew Xs for Jesus’ eyes”

Reminds me of an old Charlie Brown cartoon. Linus has drawn a picture of himself with his hands behind his back. Lucy begins to pyscoanalyize, “Drawing your hands behind your back means that you can't deal with problems and are insecure.” Linus answers, “Drawing my hands behind my back means that I can't draw hands.”

Often the simplest answer is the correct answer.

5 posted on 12/15/2009 5:59:05 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: freedumb2003
Your apparent lack of concern for religious freedom makes me want you to get an evaluation too.
6 posted on 12/15/2009 6:00:20 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: muawiyah

>>Your apparent lack of concern for religious freedom makes me want you to get an evaluation too.<<

You better check all the rocks around your house. I am sure there is an atheist behind each one, ready to jump OUT at you and steal your religious freedom and precious bodily fluids.

There is religious persecution against Christians in this country. But this is not an example.

Read the article again, this time for content — that means you have to read all the words.


7 posted on 12/15/2009 6:03:37 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Steelfish

I’m sick of the PC, Smack her in the snotlocker.


8 posted on 12/15/2009 6:04:43 PM PST by JamesA (You don't have to be big to stand tall)
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To: I cannot think of a name

>>Often the simplest answer is the correct answer.<<

Do you want to be the teacher when this kid does something nuts because a slippery Occam’s Razor standard was applied?

Better safe than sorry.

But the more important point is this isn’t a religious prosecution case — it is a teacher reacting to signals of potential problems. The level of that reaction may be up for debate but the underlying issue should not be.


9 posted on 12/15/2009 6:06:39 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: JamesA

>>I’m sick of the PC, Smack her in the snotlocker.<<

As much fun as it is to post without reading the article (and God knows I have done it many times), I suggest you actually read the article this time and maybe rethink...


10 posted on 12/15/2009 6:08:44 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003

I guess I have a problem expecting an 8 year old to know something I don’t.

In 17 years of schooling, nobody ever told me that drawing crosses for eyes meant somebody was dead. I make small sketches and drawings to give to people that work for me to show them things I want done. Hope I’m not including any secret signals.


11 posted on 12/15/2009 6:10:45 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: I cannot think of a name

>>Hope I’m not including any secret signals.<<

But wouldn’t you be concerned when a kid says he is Christ on the cross, maybe dying? It could be a simple matter, but I would be concerned.

Maybe a call to the parents would have been a better move, but at least the teacher had the kid’s welfare at heart.

As I said, this ISN’T about religion.

FWIIW, cartoons use Xs in the eyes to portray death and knocked out. If you never saw kids using them before wouldn’t it be a bit disturbing to see them?

But we are losing the point of the OP.


12 posted on 12/15/2009 6:14:38 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Steelfish

The article in the Taunton Daily Gazette said the boy said the drawing was of Jesus, not himself. Is this about another Liberal caught oversteping their authority and then trying to lie their way out?


13 posted on 12/15/2009 6:18:14 PM PST by antidemoncrat
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To: freedumb2003
The teacher's focus was the content of the picture. Apparently she was unaware of how common it is ~ there are MILLIONS of copies ~ better done for the most part, but not different in topic.

It's not the business of a public school teacher to question the validity of religious expression on behalf of the state (See: "get an evaluation").

Regarding atheists hiding behind rocks, don't try it. We have a tower with a remote autofire array. You wouldn't have a chance.

14 posted on 12/15/2009 6:19:38 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: freedumb2003

When my youngest was about five, she drew a few pictures of dead people and animals with Xs for eyes. I think she even drew Jesus this way. She sees the crucifix in church every Sunday - maybe that was the year she really took in the reason for Easter.

The drawings did look creepy and took me aback. But I knew she was a stable healthy child and she was just using a convention or a stereotype - like the sky being a blue line across the top of the page - because that’s the way children draw.

Somewhere between four and eight is when children start to get the concept of death and it’s a big concept to deal with. Not surprising they draw it sometimes.


15 posted on 12/15/2009 6:19:41 PM PST by heartwood
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To: Steelfish
Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross.

Call it a hunch, but I think this is what had the teacher worried about the kid's drawing, not the religious tone. If I had a student depicting his own death, I'd be taking some action, too. I wouldn't suspend him, though--I'd just contact his parents and the school counselor.
16 posted on 12/15/2009 6:20:35 PM PST by Julia H. (Freedom of speech and freedom from criticism are mutually exclusive.)
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To: freedumb2003

The cause of this over-reaction is the obsessive-compulsive adherence to zero tolerance guidelines in the school system.


17 posted on 12/15/2009 6:22:58 PM PST by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: savedbygrace

>>The cause of this over-reaction is the obsessive-compulsive adherence to zero tolerance guidelines in the school system.<<

That sounds plausible, for sure. But at least in this case it isn’t punitive.


18 posted on 12/15/2009 6:25:16 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: muawiyah

>>It’s not the business of a public school teacher to question the validity of religious expression on behalf of the state (See: “get an evaluation”).<<

You are the wingnut that make the rest of us Christians look like nuts. This was a simple matter of a teacher seeing a kid with potential suicidal messages perhaps overreacting.

>>Regarding atheists hiding behind rocks, don’t try it. We have a tower with a remote autofire array. You wouldn’t have a chance.<<

I am sure you get them all every night. And the ones under your bed as well.

If you are attempting to paint me with some kind of brush, it is very childish (and wrong).

This isn’t about religion, no matter how badly you want to be persecuted.


19 posted on 12/15/2009 6:28:49 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Julia H.

>>If I had a student depicting his own death, I’d be taking some action, too. I wouldn’t suspend him, though—I’d just contact his parents and the school counselor.<<

Well, now you are an atheist (no matter what you really believe) for not seeing this as an attack on Christianity.

Many on FR are Thought Police and get to tell you what you believe and kick you out of Christianity if you are not found to be Pure and interpret every encounter with the gummit as an attack on your religion and freedom.


20 posted on 12/15/2009 6:31:35 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003
Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross...

According to the ABC article, he only said that after they'd dragged him down to the principal's office and worked him over for a little while.

He misspoke, or they tripped him up, while they were grilling him in the principal's office, and they grabbed that one utterance and ran with it.

And for that matter:

“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me . . ." - Galatians 2:20

21 posted on 12/15/2009 6:31:41 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: freedumb2003
Look, even non-Catholics know something about Crucifix pictures ~ there are Gazillions of them. They are common. Children draw them too. Nothing strange whatsoever about a Crucifix picture.

What is unbelievable in this story is that the teacher appeared to not know this.

That's where "evaluations" should be directed ~ toward the teacher.

The teacher also needs to go to a First Amendment re-education course. You might well accompany her.

22 posted on 12/15/2009 6:33:25 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: freedumb2003

IMO, we don’t have enough information to draw that conclusion.


23 posted on 12/15/2009 6:35:21 PM PST by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: freedumb2003

But I’m tempted to draw a conclusion from the fact that the father is trying to make it a racial thing. That happened after the incident, so it doesn’t contribute to the cause at all.


24 posted on 12/15/2009 6:37:32 PM PST by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: muawiyah

>>What is unbelievable in this story is that the teacher appeared to not know this.<<

Saying it is YOU who is on the cross is not normal and we have no way of knowing what the teacher knows or doesn’t.

You still refuse to actually READ the article I see.

>>The teacher also needs to go to a First Amendment re-education course. You might well accompany her.<<

Is that what you are calling your theological purity indoctrination these days? I see you are one of those “Freedom for me but not for thee” types. You better go back and read that Amendment again.

But I know people like you need to see persecution behind every tree. Else your life would have no meaning. You define yourself by your enemies and, clearly, when the numbers get low you create new ones.


25 posted on 12/15/2009 6:39:51 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: savedbygrace

>>IMO, we don’t have enough information to draw that conclusion.<<

Based on the facts presented in the OP, it appears not to have been punitive. Overreaction? Looks like it to me. But not because of the crucifix, per se.


26 posted on 12/15/2009 6:41:35 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: savedbygrace

>>But I’m tempted to draw a conclusion from the fact that the father is trying to make it a racial thing. That happened after the incident, so it doesn’t contribute to the cause at all.<<

Overreaction and seeing persecution where there is none. Hmmm. Sound like anyone you have read recently? Anyone?

(I think he is setting up for a lawsuit payday)


27 posted on 12/15/2009 6:43:21 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003
Look, it's an MSNBC story ~ bad source on anything with any sort of religious angle. The writer did a poor job laying it out.

It's simply a story of a teacher seeing a quite common picture of a guy on the cross, and then freaking out.

Nothing more to it than that.

The state has an obligation to protect Christians from being assailed by ignorant yahoos simply because they draw a religious picture.

Here we have an ignorant yahoo who is an agent of the state railing at Christians over their imagery.

If there's something more to this it's NOT IN THE PUBLISHED STORY.

28 posted on 12/15/2009 6:46:57 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: muawiyah

>>The state has an obligation to protect Christians from being assailed by ignorant yahoos simply because they draw a religious picture.<<

True. That isn’t what happened here.

>>Here we have an ignorant yahoo who is an agent of the state railing at Christians over their imagery.<<

That isn’t what the article says happened.

>>If there’s something more to this it’s NOT IN THE PUBLISHED STORY. <<

You are the one who is imputing. My conclusions are drawn from the article as written.


29 posted on 12/15/2009 6:48:47 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Steelfish
"We're No Longer Just A Christian Nation"

So WHEN did the change take place?

ML/NJ

30 posted on 12/15/2009 6:49:34 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: freedumb2003

Lol...if there’s one thing homosexuals and the “you’ll go to Hell unless you accept the Gospel According To Me” brand of Christians can agree on, it’s that being persecuted is something to be craved and sought out on the farthest limbs.


31 posted on 12/15/2009 6:50:48 PM PST by Julia H. (Freedom of speech and freedom from criticism are mutually exclusive.)
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To: freedumb2003
See what happens ~ I feed your paranoia as a joke only to find that you really are that paranoiac.
32 posted on 12/15/2009 6:51:14 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: muawiyah

The child is a special needs student. Maybe he doesn’t perceive things the way we do!!


33 posted on 12/15/2009 6:53:01 PM PST by copwife (All God's creatures have a place in the choir!)
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To: Steelfish; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

34 posted on 12/15/2009 6:53:04 PM PST by narses ('in an odd way this is cheering news!'.)
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To: freedumb2003
You glossed over the good parts. Try reading it again ~ character by character. See what the child does. See what happens to the child. Check out the father. Check out the teacher.

The story is poorly written but it's pretty clear the teacher needs to have her credentials reviewed.

35 posted on 12/15/2009 6:54:17 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: I cannot think of a name

LMAO!!!!!!!


36 posted on 12/15/2009 6:54:45 PM PST by FrdmLvr ("The people will believe what the media tells them they believe." Orwell)
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To: muawiyah

>>See what happens ~ I feed your paranoia as a joke only to find that you really are that paranoiac.<<

No need to backpedal. Just apologize, we can shake hands, and then move on.


37 posted on 12/15/2009 6:55:24 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: heartwood
Somewhere between four and eight is when children start to get the concept of death and it’s a big concept to deal with.

My grandson was four when he asked if we could go in a rocket ship to visit with Jesus up in heaven.

38 posted on 12/15/2009 6:56:21 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
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To: muawiyah

He projects a lot. The fd character just isnt living unless he gets into some sort of personal confrontation with at least one freeper a day. It’s what defines him, see the post history


39 posted on 12/15/2009 6:56:59 PM PST by valkyry1
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To: copwife

Could be. Did you see that citation to Gallatians? The child may well understand more than he’s being credited with.


40 posted on 12/15/2009 6:58:21 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: freedumb2003

Because we don’t know the teacher or the relationship between the teacher and the boy, we can’t know that for certain one way or the other.


41 posted on 12/15/2009 6:58:34 PM PST by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: muawiyah

I reread it. This part didn’t change:

>>Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross. <<

That would alarm almost anyone (at least anyone who cares about kids).

Nothing has changed from my initial take, which I posted after reading the article twice.

Whether the teacher reacted improperly (and I think he did), isn’t what your earlier points were. You have been saying this is religious persecution and there is nothing in the article that suggests that, any more than the racism claimed by the dad.


42 posted on 12/15/2009 7:00:28 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003

This looks to me like a question of who do you believe. I don’t have much trust in gubmint schools (my wife just quit teaching after many years in S. Tex in disgust with other teachers and administrators). She worked in a number of large and small districts over the years. If you trust the Administrators, you are a fool. They circle the wagons to protect their own. The picture has long hair, as depicted in all pictures of Christ that I have seen. As for the crosses, my bet is the kid copied it fom something he saw.


43 posted on 12/15/2009 7:01:03 PM PST by TStro
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To: All

re: Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross

Could someone please tell me where it states ‘drew himself on the cross’ on these:

http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/x1903566059/Taunton-second-grader-suspended-over-drawing-of-Jesus?popular=true

http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/regional/x1903566705/Second-grader-suspended-over-drawing-of-Jesus?popular=true

BTW, if you need something else to use, this reports that the dad’s showing a different picture from the one the teacher saw. Oh, so the dad’s scamming out of the blue? So I say, let’s see the original (let me guess, they let them take that one back home and the psychologist didn’t keep it, since it was his ‘personal property and had ‘nothing to do with school, they just found it).

But wait a minute, now the district states it’s the wrong pic, yet the teacher never asked them to draw something re: Christmas, it was ‘discovered’ in school and it’s not ‘known’ if it was finished at school (but wasn’t it stated his name was on it?, nevermind). Yet, I love this part:

In this case, as in any other case involving the wellbeing of a student, the administration acted in accordance with the school department’s well-established protocol. This protocol is centered upon the student’s care, wellbeing and educational success. The protocol includes a review of the student’s records, discussions with staff, central administration, school psychologists and other community resources. Decisions were made only after this protocol had been completed, including a consultation with a veteran staff member with a background in clinical psychology and a Ph.D.

— Hmm, for what? A picture ‘found’ (that according to them we haven’t seen); So would that mean, since it wasn’t an assignment related to education or that class, that she was just worried about something inside this non-violent (up to now), kid, and did it for his and the families own good? I get it now.

That’s also why the parents had to pay for the evaluation... nevermind, they said it wasn’t a condition of coming back to school, he was never suspended, maybe it was a ‘suggestion’ (which if it wasn’t education related, is a lawsuit FYI).

Oh, and it’s known as Christmas City and we love all religions, blah, blah.

Call me silly, I also think the Xs on the eyes could be because Jesus died on the cross? I wonder, if he drew Obama or Al Gore on the cross would he get a Nobel? I wonder if any muslim kids ever drew a beheading or themselves in a suicide belt?... forget it, CAIR, ISNA and MSA would be all over them. Plus it wouldn’t be in the papers.


44 posted on 12/15/2009 7:01:54 PM PST by AliVeritas ( Pray folks. Psalm 109:8)
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To: copwife
We have a family friend we've known since he was a child. He's now an adult. He's still "special needs" but you know what, he improves through the years. We rejoiced when he learned counting as a teenager. He's up to driver's license but they keep asking him about drinking alcohol (the equivalence question ~ how many shots of whiskey is a pony keg of beer worth ~ you know the one). He doesn't drink, doesn't go around people who do, and has no interest in finding out about alcohol.

One thing about him is interesting ~ he understands his plight very well ~ but as a Moslem he doesn't see himself as Christ on the Cross, but you know what, he understands that and has asked about it over the years.

You may well be onto something. Still, a special needs teacher should have known about such things long before now.

45 posted on 12/15/2009 7:02:47 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: valkyry1

>>He projects a lot. The fd character just isnt living unless he gets into some sort of personal confrontation with at least one freeper a day. It’s what defines him, see the post history<<

I see you still haven’t even learned the simple rules of netiquette.

And no one actually asked for your opinion.

But it is always gratifying to see my cyberstalking fan club follow me around.

And most FReepers and I get along just fine.


46 posted on 12/15/2009 7:03:30 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Steelfish

It reminds me of the little boy who was sent to Catholic school because he kept failing his math classes in the public schools. When he came home with his first report card and had straight A’s in math, his mother was delighted and asked him why he was doing so much better at his new school. “Well”, he told her, “I took one look at that kid on the plus sign and I sure didn’t want to end up like him”.


47 posted on 12/15/2009 7:04:23 PM PST by FrdmLvr ("The people will believe what the media tells them they believe." Orwell)
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To: freedumb2003
You are the one who first expressed a decided disinterest in pursuing the religious freedom issues in this case. I didn't.

In fact, I suggested the teacher be sent to sensitivity class, and then anger management.

Don't assume I don't know something about incompetent teachers ~ even in Special Education.

48 posted on 12/15/2009 7:06:59 PM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: TStro

I can only go on what the article says. If there is other information, then I will act accordingly.

If there is clear indicators that this was a reaction because the kid drew a crucifix because it is a Christian symbol, then we have a whole new kettle of frogs.

But if this is just a screw-up and an example of bad rules, administration and teacher preparedness, it is consistent with what I have been saying.


49 posted on 12/15/2009 7:07:26 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2408295/posts


50 posted on 12/15/2009 7:09:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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