Issues for the class that prohibited any violence, blood,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issues
and Practices Assignment #1

EDAD
735- School Law

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Calvin
Dobesh

Spring
2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facts
of the Case

·        
The
student’s art teacher asked his class in February to draw landscapes.

·        
The student said his
art teacher censored his drawing because it featured a cross and a biblical
reference.

·        
His
teacher, Julie Millin, asked him to remove the reference to the Bible, saying
students were making remarks about it.

·        
He
refused, and she gave him a zero on the project.

·        
Millin
showed the student a policy for the class that prohibited any violence, blood,
sexual connotations or religious beliefs in artwork.

·        
The boy
tore the policy up in front of Millin, who kicked him out of class.

·        
Later
that day, the principal said that the student’s beliefs were distracting the
other students.

·        
Jackson
and his stepfather met up with their pastor and had a meeting later on in the
week and found that religious expression could be legally censored in class
assignments.

·        
The boy
received two detentions for tearing up the policy.

·        
A while
after that meeting Jackson had a different teacher turn down his idea to build
a chain-mail cross, telling him it was religious and could offend someone.

·        
Jackson then decided to change his plans to make a pin with the
words “pray” and “praise” on it because he was afraid he’d
get a zero for a grade.

·        
The lawsuit also alleges school officials allow other religious
items and artwork to be displayed on campus.

·        
A Buddha and Hindu figurines are on display in a social studies
classroom, the lawsuit claims, adding the teacher passionately teaches Hindu
principles to students.

·        
Also there is a replica of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of
Man” hung in the front of the school.

·        
Drawings of Medusa, the Grim Reaper with a scythe and a being with
a horned head and protruding tongue hang in the art room and demonic masks are
displayed in the metals room, the lawsuit alleges.

Issues of Conflict

            In this case the plaintiff, a high
school boy, is claiming his art teacher censored his drawing because it
featured a cross and a biblical reference. Students may express their religious
beliefs in the form of reports, homework and artwork, and such expressions are
constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. Teachers may not reject
or correct such submissions simply because they include a religious symbol or
address religious themes. The fact that teachers in the school have religious
artifacts in their classrooms and other art projects on display makes them
appear hypocritical of this student.

Evidence

Evidence
Supporting Plaintiff (High School Boy)

·        
Public schools may not display religious exhibits or other visual
materials (Essex, 2015, p.28)

·        
In the landmark 1960s Tinker
case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students have the same
constitutional rights as adults. The students’ rights stay the same as they
enter the school building. (Essex, 2015, p.53)

·        
School officials do not possess absolute authority over their
students. (Essex, 2015, p. 54)

·        
Washegesic v. Bloomingdale
Public Schools in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a picture
of Jesus that had been hanging outside the principal’s office in the hallway
for many years was unconstitutional because it went along with the governments’
endorsement of religion and Establishment Clause Violation.

·        
Public schools may not erect any religious display on school
property.

Evidence

Evidence
Supporting Defendant (School)

·        
Public schools may not display religious exhibits or other visual
materials (Essex, 2015, p.29)

·        
Having any type of religious drawing or symbol being displayed in
the school goes against the idea of neutrality (Essex, 2015, p.28).

·        
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it so schools cannot
discriminate students because of their religious choices.

·        
School officials may restrict the freedom of expression where
there is evidence of material and substantial disruption or violation of school
rules (Essex, 2015, p.57)

·        
Settle v. Dickson
County School Board – This court case solidified the idea that teachers
hold control of their curriculum. They are free to make what rules and
expectations they choose as long as it aligns to school curriculums.

Predicted Outcome

·        
            In this case ruling could go
either way in my eyes. I feel that there were offenses by both parties that
could change the scenario of this ending. First, did the student know the
guideline of the lesson ahead of time? If so, the teacher then based on the Settle v. Dickson County
School Board ruling, has the right to remove his artwork
from the wall. Also according to Essex, having any type of religious drawing or
symbol being displayed in the school goes against the idea of neutrality. In
this case, the ruling would go in favor of the defendant.

However, another ruling could be made in the area unequal
treatment. In the case of the teachers in this school with their religious
artifacts, those are not allowed in a public school. As was the case in Washegesic v. Bloomingdale Public Schools in which the Sixth
Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a picture of Jesus that had been hanging
outside the principal’s office in the hallway for many years was
unconstitutional because it constituted the governments’ endorsement of
religion and Establishment Clause Violation.

Overall I believe that the ruling would be in favor of the school.
The school and teachers have the right to manage curriculum to meet the needs
of students. If this artwork caused any distraction what so ever, the teacher
had the right to remove it. Without knowing the school dynamic or diversity,
it’s hard to know what races and religious beliefs were in that class. I
believe that this case would be a wakeup call for the entire staff. The
principal would have all religious artwork removed from the school and would
require teachers to be more clear with the directions and requirements of all
projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Essex,
N.L. (2016). School law and the public schools: A practical guide for educational
leaders (6th ed). Pearson Eduation

Settle v. Dickson
County School Board, Settle v. Dickson County School Board, 53 F.3d 152 (6th
Cir. 1995)

Tinker
v. Des Moines School District. (1969)

Washegesic v. Bloomingdale Public Schools,
813 F. Supp. 559 (W.D. Mich. 1993)