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I try to let the art room be one place where kids are free to express
themselves. All art work must be original. I never censor subject matter,
as long as it fits the assignment, unless its hurtful to a specific person
or group or is overtly pornographic. I do exercise the right to censor
which work is SHOWN. This becomes a valuable lesson on censorship (the
NEA etc.) which we discuss at length in class. When I see a student making
something which I know I can't display in our hallways, I can usually steer
him/her to another track by reminding them it won't be displayed--our kids
love their work shown! If they choose to do it anyway, I insist it be
taken home as soon as its completed.
One year we designed breakfast cereals (logo, box, and a commercial) and a
student did a pot based cereal called "Weedeze." It was manufactured by
the Mary Jane Company. I thought it was very creative and she did a
wonderful job with the entire project. Her mom was pretty surprised I let
her do it, but no harm came of it. I don't think letting kids do this
stuff encourages them to use drugs.
As for the pipes--I think its a good idea to just stop them up so they
can't be used, but I'd still let kids do a pipe form is they wanted to.
You could get around this by making "non utilitarian" a part of your clay