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Re: my art books have been confiscated for decency HELP

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 10 2004 - 19:57:02 PST


I've been debating whether to add anything to this discussion

I feel so bad for the teacher that initially asked for help
I feel bad that the question and plea was reduced to what is blocked by your
internet security systems.

We actually COULD live without the internet
but could we live without art? and god forbid we come to living without
books

Jane asks some very good questions about what we, as a group and an
association, do with the issue of censorship (re: school's policy c'ship?
2/9)

Jane has done intensive research on the issue of censorship and I trust her
conclusions that a good policy does not exist. Mostly, I think, the
people that are making policy, recommendations and suggestions at the
highest levels are not people in the the classroom dealing with the day to
day stuff -- the ivory tower is very apparent in most of the research stuff
I read.

I hate to be so paranoid, but I know what has been safe for me can be
challenged at any moment. I have become more and more "careful " about
images not because my values have changed but only because I have
enough stress I don't want to go through any kind of inquiry about
something seen in my room better leave that to CBS and Janet Jackson.

I've been around long enough to remember when challenge was considered a
H.O.T Now fear has lead to bland and it's no wonder that public
education is in trouble.
After we cover all our bases there is only a "walk " left. How the heck do
we ever expect our kids to "steal a base?"

I don't blame any teacher for being careful, the consequences are too
enormous. I don't ever want to feel the panic the teacher that asked for
help feels, but I know how easy it is to get into that situation.
Don't ever feel that because you have always done it you can always do
it----- it only takes one to give you a horror story.

All the advice about documenting and providing evidence is sound and good
but that is what makes me weary about being a teacher today
I spend way too much time documenting or questioning what I think is
sound good stuff, because maybe it will be challenged or weighing just
how far I can go

To me, teaching was always about using my judgement and presenting what I
know will cause thinking but now we take it "safe" and measure and
reduce and we even question questioning. To me, teaching was the place
to present the questions of what was and encourage what can be
but now it only seems to maintain the what was
I'm not long for staying in a place where the "what was" is.

This is of no help to the teacher that asked for help. I wish I had an
answer for you. But, as many have said, too many administrators are willing
to cow-tow to ignorant parents rather than support informed teachers.
Administrators have become business managers & PR people. More and more
administrators lack any actual recent teaching experience . They have to
politic too much and consequently what the teacher does becomes suspect.
They are working for their bonus pay , they have been given objectives by
their higher ups. We are all too often in the adversary positions ---- we
are against each other rather than for each other.
And who wins?

I'm tired of art Ed always fighting what's wrong with the picture?

Patty

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