By Lynn Woolley
It makes you wonder what our children are being taught at home – and in school.
In the Temple School District’s recent art exhibit at Temple High and at the Cultural Activities Center, no one raised eyebrows at two posters that denigrated police. One poster showed cops bullying a black person with the caption:
“Too Many Cops; Too Little Justice.”
The other drawing was of a pig in a police cap saying:
“Will I lose my badge? Nah. I can get away with murder.”
Not one official in the ISD seemed to notice until one Deborah Worley Slaughter saw the exhibit and put the posters on FACEBOOK.
How unlike the situation at Live Oak High in California where students were not allowed to wear “USA” t-shirts so as not to offend Mexican students on Cinco de Mayo. One thing is certain. This is not a freedom of speech case. This is about judgment.
Where were ISD officials? Where were the parents?
How is it possible that these two disgusting posters were allowed to be drawn and put on exhibit? Why did no teacher, administrator, or assistant school superintendent speak up? For that matter, what kind of parent would allow his or her child to draw such a poster?
The slogans on these two posters are very reminiscent of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is based largely on lies and misinformation.
The policeman in Ferguson was completely exonerated and there will not likely be any convictions in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore. The Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, filed charges against six police officers – but there is scant evidence that police did anything wrong. There is plenty of evidence about Gray’s twenty-something criminal cases.
Mosby may have felt that she had to files charges to keep Baltimore from burning down as Ferguson nearly did. You have to wonder if some Temple High students believe “justice” is about throwing rocks through the windows of stores owned by innocent people, or filing charges in order to prevent more riots.
Perhaps it would be a nice exercise in Current Events to assign students to research whether police shoot more whites or blacks in any given year – and why. Facts matter.
The Temple ISD controversy is not about facts and it is not about the First Amendment. It is about political correctness.
Maybe ISD officials did not notice these posters at all. Maybe nobody at the Cultural Activities Centers noticed how offensive they are. That seems unlikely, but the only other answer is that political correctness stopped them from removing the posters and possibly stopped parents from saying anything.
After all, it might be considered racist to point out that a student poster is racist.
Thank goodness that Deborah Worley Slaughter was not politically correct. On her FACEBOOK page, she explained how she came to see the posters:
“This morning John Kenneth Slaughter and I along with Aiden were Blessed with a great sermon and fellowship at church! When we exited church we noticed a bunch of artwork hanging on the walls so we decided to look around. Our church is Redeemer Presbyterian located at the CAC. We noticed a couple of pieces of “art” (I use the term loosely) that we found very disturbing and are pretty angry that they have been allowed to be hung. I am sharing the 2 photos I took of them. Shame on THS art dept and CAC for allowing this!! I will be placing some phone calls tomorrow!! WARNING it will get your blood boiling too!!”
You can depend on social media to get people roiled – and a lot of locals got that way. The story made the local featurepaper and the TISD Superintendent Robin Battershell, issued a statement.
“The CAC ArtWorks display is now over and thus all the artwork has been removed. The artwork in question had been on display at Temple High School and then at the Cultural Activities Center for the past two months. No complaints were received prior to May 24. In reviewing the local and legal policy, the two art pieces do not fall within policy and although First Amendment rights apply, due to this being produced by a minor and in a public setting, determination regarding the display is largely left to the judgment of the school district.”
In other words, ADULTS are supposed to be in charge. Why weren’t they? That is the question. And why spend the money to bring in lawyers?
If the two pieces “did not fall within policy,” when why did the District not use its judgment? For that matter, why did the art teachers of these two students not speak up? I must disagree with Superintendent Battershell on one issue. This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. We found that out at Live Oak High School in 2010.
American students have no free speech rights on Cinco de Mayo.
Here is the basis of the California story in which American students were prevented from wearing pro-American shirts to school from the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC):
On May 5, 2010, school officials from Live Oak High School in the Morgan Hill Unified School District, California, prevented five students from wearing American flag t-shirts because the officials did not want to offend “Mexican” students on “their day.” That day, some students at the school were celebrating the Mexican holiday known as Cinco de Mayo. School officials approved the Cinco de Mayo celebration, which was co-sponsored by M.E.Ch.A, a school-sanctioned student group. While school officials claimed that they were concerned about racial tension and potential threats of violence in light of an altercation that occurred between Mexican and American students on campus during a 2009 Cinco de Mayo celebration, the officials nonetheless approved the 2010 Mexican celebration, demonstrating that their fear of violence was nothing short of a pretext.
The American students’ rights were stripped away and they were forced to turn their t-shirts inside out. So much for the First Amendment.
The Texas case never should have happened.
Superintendent Battershell – a straight shooter – is quoted in Crystal Dominguez’ story in the Temple Daily Telegram that in the future, the ISD will work with staff to find a balance between the First Amendment and respect for community servants.
That’s nice, but the adults ARE in charge. They were certainly in charge at Live Oak High School and the First Amendment did not matter there.
Tagged with: American Freedom Law Center, Black Lives Matter, Cultural Activities Center, Deborah Worley Slaughter, Live Oak High School controversy, Marilyn Mosby, Robin Battershell, Temple High School Art Exhibit, Temple Texas ISD, Too many cops..., Will I lose my badge...