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RE: my art books have been confiscated for decency HELP

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From: Fields, Linda (fieldsl_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Feb 09 2004 - 10:05:30 PST


Kathy-I don't know how it is where you are, but I think you are entitled to have a union rep or at least another teacher present when confronted by the principal-regardless of what the principal says. I also believe you have the right to know who has complained and what the complaint is. Even a criminal has the right to face his accuser.

I have always kept art books that include nudes on my shelf for reference. I go by the "rule" that, unless I am making a captive audience view the material, the kids have a choice. It sounds to me like your students also have a choice as to which references to use. If the Art for Children or other books were purchased with school system monies, are approved textbooks, or were bought under the auspices of your media center, I don't think the principal has a leg to stand on. Perhaps what is needed is a face-to-face conference with the objecting parent and the principal. Try to keep your cool in any event and good luck. Please let us know what happens. Linda in NC

-----Original Message-----
From: Kathy Houston [mailto:khouston@socs.k12.in.us]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 6:52 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: my art books have been confiscated for decency HELP

Please let me clarify. I had 28 geese in my class that I received from
grant money. Part of my grant was to have the students create a goose in
a style of a signature artist. Since the children needed to do research
on the artist that they wanted to immulate they were asked to research
through printed and non-print material. I spoke to all the children in
advance about art and seeing things in some of the text that may be more
than they were use to seeing. I call it my "nudie" speach. I make sure
to have parents in my room during th discussion and afterwards I ask
them to critique what I had said to the students. I also used text from
the library and a set of books that say on the front ART FOR Children.
 In the Matisse book they have a nude painting. This is only my second
year for teaching but my mother taught for ten years and was in the room
also during the lecture. I have taught for fifteen years all together.
 I also take the sixth grade class to the art museum each year. What do
you do then? Does anyone have a letter that they send out to parents
that addresses this issue. I appreciate your comments and maybe I
should only have one or tow examples out but I think that censors the
child. For gosh sakes my books that are written for children have
nudes. I am frustrated and scared. I have contacted my Union building
rep and have been on the phone to Marti Bellise for advice. My
principal says no need to bring anything to the meeting but I feel it
may be needed. Thanks for all of your support Kathy

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