I agree with Bunki Kramer relative to teaching "controversial" or potentially
controversial lessons to beginning artists as a student teacher. Bunki had a
very thoughtful and insightful reply to Steven. Best to play it safe, make
your own life a little easier and leave those lessons for later, there will
be a time and a place for it.
We recently had a district wide art project that was open to
interpretation and could allow students to express viewpoints regarding
social issues of concern to them. Still, on the beginning art level, I had to
limit certain topics such as pro-drug (marihuana) statements or stuff
regarding sexual innuendos. I had to give a talk about "appropriateness" and
what is acceptable on the high school level. It gets pretty dicey. Much as we
may encourage our students to be creative and express their opinions freely
and openly, we have to guide them and, while not stiffle their freedom of
expression, realize that many high schoolers are immature and view you as a
model for what is OK and acceptable. That is, they need direction from you,
they need parameters, and can be creative and freely expressive within those
parameters which you have established precisely so that they won't get "hurt"
by provoking the wrath of authority figures or their peers. So, look at it
like you're protecting them. When they get to college they can be as
controversial as they want. But you've given them the means and the
techniques to do so.
Hope this helps.
Dennis in California