Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Taunton School Student Suspended for Drawing Jesus on Cross? Maxham Elementary Denies Student Suspension

Reports out this week that a second-grader was suspended for a "violent drawing" depicting Christ on the Cross. Just heard Lauren Green, the religion correspondent on FOXNews say that the Taunton, Massachusetts school district, and specifically Maxham Elementary, denies that the boy was suspended and that the drawing shown in the news by the boy's father, Chester Johnson, is not the same drawing the boy's teacher found.

 Child Suspended for drawing Christ on the Cross

There is a further denial that students were asked to draw "something that reminded them of Christmas or any other religious holiday." Green is still working on the story.

The father of the student, Chester Johnson, told media that his son was "ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation" after his drawing was found. On the school district's website, there is this:
It has been reported in the media that a student was suspended over drawing a rendering of Jesus Christ on the cross. This report is totally inaccurate, and the student was never suspended. This incident occurred nearly two weeks ago, it was handled appropriately, and the school staff and family had been working together in a cooperative and positive manner.
The drawing published in various media outlets is not the same drawing that was discovered by the teacher. It has not been established whether the drawing was actually completed in school. Contrary to what has been reported, there was no request or assignment by the teacher for students to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas or any religious holiday....
Taunton, known as The Christmas City, takes pride as a community in celebrating this Christian holiday together with Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and many others. In the school district, it is our goal to provide the opportunity for all students to be well-rounded, and it is our responsibility to help them attain their social, emotional and academic goals regardless of their religious affiliation.
According to Stop the ACLU, the unnamed child is a "special needs student who is 8 years old." Did Johnson lie when he said his child was suspended, ordered for psychological review, and did he purposefully show a drawing not even involved in the incident? Or is Maxham Elementary lying?

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton