A California art class teacher banned a student’s drawing of the American flag with the words “God Bless America,” saying she found it “offensive.” The same teacher had praised a picture of Obama drawn by a different student in the class.
The student is 13-year-old Terrin Hathaway. The school is Gavilan View Middle School in Salinas in the Santa Rita school district.
The girl’s mother told FOX News Radio that her daughter “had drawn the flag and was sketching the letters, ‘God bless America,’ when the teacher confronted her. She said, ‘You can’t draw that – that’s offensive.’” But another student in the same art class drew a picture of Obama and was praised by the teacher. “The picture of Barack Obama was in red, white and blue hues,” Hathaway said. “The teacher said it was great. But when it comes to the flag – all of a sudden it was offensive?”
Mrs. Hathaway said she took her concerns to the principal – and he was “floored” and apologized for what happened. He arranged a meeting with the Hathaways and the teacher. “My husband point-blank asked her what she found offensive about the picture – the American flag or the words, ‘God Bless America,’” Mrs. Hathaway said. “The teacher didn’t say a word.”
Mrs. Hathaway said, “But this was not a political class. This was not a religious class. This was an art class. My daughter wasn’t trying to break any rules and she wasn’t trying to create a scene. She was just expressing her view and saying this is America and I want God to bless it.”
Mike Brusa, the superintendent of schools, told FOX in a written statement that he had contacted the principal and that the issue “was taken care of to their (the parent’s) satisfaction.” But Hathaway said her daughter has yet to receive an apology – and in fact – the teacher told the girl that she should not have gotten her parents involved in the matter.
“My daughter felt like her rights were being trampled on – she was doing what she thought was right.” she said. “It’s disturbing. It really is disturbing. When I was in junior high we didn’t have a lot of the problems they are having now. We were allowed to speak our mind. It’s absolutely devastating for me. Last time I looked, this is America. This is still a free country.”
[Source: Education News]
Here’s contact info on Gavilan Middle School:
- Principal: John Gutierrez
- Address: 18250 Van Buren Avenue, Salinas, CA 93906-4300
- Phone: (831) 443-7212
- Fax: (831) 443-0908