At North Oldham High School, several parents have sounded the alarm over a controversial piece of student artwork found on display in their kid's classroom.
The painting in question?
Apparently, the artwork was the product of a homework assignment. Students were asked to create a piece based on Harper Lee's famous book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a book studied in an Honors English class.
However, some parents took serious issue with the controversial image depicting a police officer in a negative light.
One troubled parent, Dave Kingman, posted about the picture on his Facebook page.
The post reads:
This was hanging in my daughter’s Honors English Class.
I sent out a request to take it down and it seems that the school and school administrators believe this to be an appropriate form of discourse and educationally noteworthy. The teacher stated, “it's a really good example and shows how racial violence has evolved”. My daughter was subjected to this yet again, and my requests to the school to abstain from this obvious hostile learning environment were met with deaf ears.
I now ask that each of you who care, share this with every first responder you know. I cannot sit back and allow the teacher’s supposed right to free speech when the courts have found that the right to freedom of speech is not absolute if it compromises a student's right to learn in a hostile-free environment. For example, the courts have held that professor's use of vulgar language is “not germane to the subject matter.” The courts have held that instructors must avoid indoctrinating or proselytizing.
This Honors English class read the Pulitzer Prize Winning book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, and were supposed to do art, based on the book. The book is a beautiful piece of art describing social and familial dilemmas of the early 1900s, and has NOTHING to do with the hatred filled propaganda coming from some in this country today. The “art” is not from a student in the class, it was from a student last year and the teacher liked it so much she placed it back on the wall.
My daughter is not unlike other children of first responders. She fears for my safety every day, and believes me to be a man of honesty and courage. She is proud to say I am her father and tells others what I do for a living. What this propaganda creates, are future cop haters, which endanger me, and 800,000 other courageous protectors. We speak of tolerance, we speak of changing hostile environments, we speak of prejudice, and we speak of racial relations, yet, when it comes to hostility toward police, their families, and profiling them through bigotry we are expected to tolerate it. I will not, nor will my child.
Tracy Green, an Oldham County School spokesperson, had this to say over the painting:
“When discussing social injustice, people will likely be offended by some topic.”
“The drawing is a student's artistic representation based on the lens through which the student viewed that issue and the student has a First Amendment right to share that opinion.”
“As educators, we play an important role in preparing our students for the world that exists outside our own buildings,”
“These topics can be divisive and upsetting to people on all sides of these issues but part of our role is to give students an opportunity to discuss those.”
As far as taking the picture down, Green claims that decision is ultimately up to the teacher.