On Tuesday, we heard about a Boston area boy who was apparently suspended for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross after his teacher asked the class to draw something that reminded them of Christmas.
School administrators allegedly called the drawing violent, referred the boy to a psychiatrist, and suspended him from school, putting advocacy groups up in arms over religious freedom.
But there are two sides to every story, and this story’s other side just came out: It wasn’t Jesus on the cross, it was the boy himself.
Taunton School superintendent Julie Hackett came out in defense of her district today. “The inaccuracies in the original media story have resulted in a great deal of criticism and scrutiny of the system that is unwarranted,” she told the Boston Globe.
According to Hackett, the class was never asked to draw a Christmas-related picture. When the boy identified himself — dead — on the cross, his teacher alerted the principal and the school psychologist, as is school policy. The boy was never suspended from school, and as Hackett told the Globe, “Religion had nothing to do with this at all.”
The boy’s dad, Chester Johnson, isn’t giving up the good fight, though. “They can’t mess with our religion; they owe us a small lump sum for this,” he told the Globe.
It’s pretty common in this post-Columbine world for teachers to take disturbing pictures/material to their principals. You just never know when something might be a cry for help. Sounds like that’s what happened here, but maybe Chester Johnson is too busy finding his religion to realize there was no harm intended.
Image: Taunton Gazette