Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Lesson Plans

Re: "stupid in Chicago" does it again

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 2 Sep 1996 11:37:37 -0400

Dear Jerry-
You have my sympathy over the destruction of your mural. I can understand, I
think, the emotional stake you had in it, and especially the memories that
were tied upin that work of art. Why can't administrators appreciate the
artistic and emotional investment that our students have in such endeavors? I
am presently fighting a similar battle, although the work I am fighting for
still exists. My eighth grade students have each painted a "wallblock" in our
school as a rite of passage from middle school for the past ten years. I've
heard a bit of grumbling over the years from the custodians, but no other
negatives. This year, the District Office moved into our Middle School
building (makes me wonder about their sanity???) and suddenly my student's
wallblocks are "not professional" looking. II was told by the sup. that the
School Board was very proud of the other two buildings in our district
(decorated with stripes and arrow-like graphics designed by adults), but ,
were apparently offended by the student made work in our building. I have not
been asked to remove the work, yet, but it a compromise has been suggested in
which the blocks would be confined to a limited area (less public) and would
be painted over when the students graduate, leaving space for an incoming
class. Some of the comments from the sup.(who approved this project when I
started it 10 years ago) were, "Did you think you could just have kids paint
on every block in the building?" and "What would happen if someone just
decided to paint a mural on the outside of one of our buildings?"
Sorry--but as I'm writing this, I feel a surge of such anger -- this project
is probably the most real, most authentic thing that my students do during
their Middle School experience. ( Of course, we discuss appropriate images,
censorship, the rights and interests of the public, who owns the buildings,
etc.) Anyway, your situation is similar except that you didn't have the
opportunity to fight! If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know.
I know that my emotions are getting in the way of my seeing the big picture.