Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Worst school district nominee: Kid on a cross is a violent image

The assignment was to draw something that reminded them of Christmas. One second grader drew a stick drawing of himself on the cross, with Xs for eyes (maybe to show he was dead, like Jesus) and a smile (Always look on the bright side of life). He had recently been to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, where he had seen crucifixion statues.

So of course, the school was alarmed, sent him home from school, made him get a psychological evaluation, and allowed him to return only after evaluators found nothing to indicate he would be a threat to others. The superintendent said they were following safety protocols.

The pendulum has officially swung too far toward safety. Not that it hadn't already, what with, just for a couple of examples of PC gone wild, a school expelling a kindergartener for bringing a plastic knife to cut her banana, and a parent bringing sexual harassment charges against a first-grader for kissing a classmate on the cheek.

I guess we're so traumatized by not identifying school shooters before they are set off that mindless bureaucrats (to distinguish them from the non-mindless bureaucrats, many of whom I work with on a regular basis and respect a great deal) will investigate far beyond reasonable bounds so as not to be blamed if the kid brings a gun to school next week and shoots somebody.

I heard about it from Andrew Sullivan, which has the drawing in question.

UPDATE: Someone asked me what the school should have done. The teacher or counselor should have phoned the parents and said your kid just drew a drawing of himself dead, and we'd like to talk to you about whether he is having any problems we could help with.

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