Friday, March 24, 2006

High Court to Consider Hearing Kindergarten Art Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide soon whether it will hear a case involving the censorship of student artwork with religious content.

Kindergarten student Antonio Peck submitted a completed assignment depicting his understanding of the environment. His poster had children holding hands circling the globe, people picking up garbage and recycling trash and a picture of Jesus with one knee to the ground and two hands stretched toward the sky, though He was not named.

School officials folded the poster to hide Jesus, claiming it violated separation of church and state and some might think it was an endorsement of religion.

In 2000 a federal court ruled the school had the right to censor religious content, but in 2001 a court of appeals reversed the decision and sent it back to the federal trial court. In 2004 the same federal judge again ruled that the school could censor a kindergartner's artwork. Liberty Counsel appealed the ruling, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that a school may not censor a student's viewpoint in a school assignment.

Mat Staver, president and general counsel at Liberty Counsel, said the fact that school officials went out of their way to humiliate a kindergarten student in front of his parents and classmates can only stem from antagonism to his Christian viewpoint.

"Common sense dictates that no one would assume the school indoctrinated students in religion simply because one kid's drawing contained an unidentified religious figure," he said. "If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, we anticipate it will agree with the ruling by the court of appeals that public schools may not discriminate against religious viewpoints of students when they address permissible subjects in response to class assignments."


Titus2woman said...

OH MY GOODNESS! This is about the most REDICULOUS thing I've ever heard! GIVE ME A BREAK! Of all the things to waste the court's time and money over! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.... (((((HUGS))))) sandi

cstett said...

Kind of makes your eyes roll back in your head, doesn't it?