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Dale Stephanos
Jesus!
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I remember my first drawing obsession: Jesus Christ up there on the cross. The Catholic church my family went to, St. John's in Swampscott MA has a nice one if memory serves correctly. The crucifiction is one hell of a compelling image - an amazing illustration to an incredible story.  So it was with wide eyed, slack jawed astonishment that I read this story. There are some real F-wads running our schools these days.



An 8-year-old boy from Taunton was sent home from school and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The Taunton Gazette reports the boy’s father was called earlier this month by Maxham Elementary School officials who informed him his second-grade son had created a “violent drawing.” An image of the drawing published on the paper’s Web site shows a crucified Jesus with Xs over his eyes, signifying his death.
The teacher was alarmed because the boy drew Xs for Jesus’ eyes, said Toni Saunders, an educational consultant working with the family.
“They weren’t looking at the fact that this is an 8-year-old child with special needs,” she said.
The boy was cleared to return to school on Dec. 7 after the evaluation found nothing to indicate that he posed a threat to himself or others. But his father said the boy was traumatized by the incident and the school district has approved the family’s request to have the child transferred to another school.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re violating his religion,” the father told the Gazette.
He added his son drew the picture shortly after the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attelboro to see its Christmas display. He made the drawing in class after his teacher asked the children to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas, the father said.
Superintendent Julie Hackett said she could not discuss an individual student and did not address the drawing specifically or the teacher’s reaction to it, but did say the school has safety protocols in place that were followed.
In June 2008, a Taunton fifth-grade student was suspended for a day for a stick figure drawing that appeared to depict him shooting his teacher and a classmate.

Associated Press contributed.


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Stephanos is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!