Anti-Americans Expel Student
ACLU Vows Legal Action Over Honor Student's Expulsion for Displaying Artwork
Below is a news announcement from the American Civil Liberties Union. Apparently, the way that school officials respond to the Littleton/Columbine shootings is not to be concerned about guns and drugs, but to restrain free speech. That's a good example of stupidity.
LEON, KANSAS -- As school officials convened this morning to hear an appeal of a high school senior expelled for displaying artwork deemed "threatening," the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri vowed to bring a court challenge if the punishment is not rescinded.
Family members, students, teachers, and even the mayor of Leon have rallied around 17-year-old Sarah Boman, an honor roll student at Bluestem High School who is known for her artistic talent.
The ACLU, which is representing Boman and her family at today's hearing, said the expulsion on January 10 was but the latest in a rash of "zero tolerance" reactions to students who, as officials acknowledged in this case, clearly present no threat.
In a May 1999 letter to school superintendents in the state, the ACLU had warned of the negative effects of so-called zero tolerance policies established in the wake of the tragic school shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.
"When will schools learn that ‘different' does not mean dangerous?" said Dick Kurtenbach, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. "Punishing students like Sarah Boman only perpetuates the view that intolerance of difference is permissible."
"If school officials persist in punishing Sarah Boman for what is clearly nonthreatening artistic expression, the ACLU is prepared to seek a restraining order in federal court," he added. The appeals committee has five days to rule on today's hearing.
At issue is a short poem by Boman, written from the point of view of a madman who was angry because someone had killed his dog. As with other artworks that she had created throughout her four years at Bluestem High School, Boman posted the piece on a classroom door. Shortly afterwards, the principal summoned her to his office, suspended her, and, at a subsequent hearing, expelled Boman for the remainder of the school year.
Boman said she created the artwork at the suggestion of an art professor at Bethany College, where she hopes to be accepted next fall. One of the items required for her portfolio, the professor explained, is an example of "repetitive" art in which the artist writes words in a spiral pattern.
"You know who killed my dog," she wrote in the poem. "I'll kill you if you don't tell me who killed my dog. Tell me who did it. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me." Boman told school officials that students often write "point of view" poems and stories and that she does not have a dog.
ACLU volunteer attorneys from the law firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon in Kansas City are representing the Boman family in this matter.
Instead of attacking difficult, fundamental problems, school officials attack a girl's spiral poem. What's your opinion? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
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