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Re: Bad language in art- Help needed

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From: Aaron Hopkins (HOPKIAAR_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 15 2002 - 05:18:28 PST


Well, I would definitely give that situation over to someone who is "in
charge" of the school...be it the headmistress or whatever...you don't
need to be involved in that kinda stuff...I would even consider removing
the student from the art club (at least for a time). These kids KNOW
what is appropriate and what is not as far as any school activity is
concerned...as a teacher I would have denfinitely sent this kid to a
higher authority and let them deal with the sticky stuff...you may end
up with parents calling about this kid's work or even worse wondering
why you handled the situation the way you did..... My bet is that this
kid is looking for attention of some sort ( and you don't need any bad
attention...the art club should be something everyone wants to do and
sees as a good thing)
good luck!!
aaron

>>> steve@tfwoodandson.co.uk 03/14/02 04:50PM >>>
It was a simple project. The fair had come to town and had taken over
most
of the streets. This event takes place once a year. For those who were
not
inspired enough by this I suggested designing a ride so scary that
nobody
would want to go on it. We had real ghosts on ghost trains, bungee
jumps
with knives under them dinasour rides etc. This work was mainly coming
from
4 or 5 eight year olds. How could I have expected to raise any
eyebrows
with this project? Read on...

One child had decided to draw a funfair disaster, the ferris wheel had
accidently come undone and was rolling down a hill. A person on the
ride was
yelling from a speach bubble to the ride opperator "You fu*cking
B*stard".
These children go to a very respectable school, in a very respectable
area.
Their parents are doctors, therapists, business people ect. Never have
I
come accross a desire for any child to use language like this in their
work.
I was suprised to say the least. I spoke to the child about this
language
and suggested that he might like to erase it and write something less
controversial, but he was adamant that the words should stay and he
was
taking the piece home to show his mum. I could have been more forceful,
but
that's not who I am.

Now I'm obviously expecting some sort of backlash. But I felt it wasn't
my
place to intefere with this childs work. It transpired that a friend
suggested the words which HE uses to stop his parents from arguing.

My arguemnent is, that art is a means of communication and if this
child
felt so strongly about leaving the words on the page, there maybe
something
else he is trying to tell us. To simply rub them out and replace them
would
be denying him his right to express himself. I do not advocate swearing
in
our art clubs, I have never experienced it nor do I expect it and
verbally I
NEVER allow it.

I'm struggling to justify my reasons. Someone help me out here. I feel
I
could have handled it better, tried to find other words to do the same
job,
found out what was going on. I was so taken by suprise I handled it
badly.

What would you have done? It happened at an after school art club. We
are
not teachers at the school. Shall I phone the headmistress tommorow?
And say
what?

Steve
U.K.

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