Story Archive

Discrimination Poster Boy

The story flashed around the world: an 8-year-old boy in Taunton, Mass., was sent home from Maxham Elementary School after an assignment to draw something about Christmas, and he drew Jesus on the cross. The second-grader couldn’t come back, the story said, until he got a psychological evaluation. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re violating his religion,” said his angry father, Chester Johnson, who explained the family had just visited a holy shrine. Johnson sat for multiple interviews at his girlfriend’s apartment, telling one paper that “They owe us a small lump sum for this.” School Superintendent Julie Hackett said district policy prohibited discussing any “confidential matter regarding a student,” but then gave an interview that newspaper reports were “totally inaccurate,” saying the boy had never been suspended, the drawing had not been assigned by any teacher, and that the boy said the drawing depicted himself, not Jesus, dead on the cross, and that school considered the drawing as a “cry for help.” In response, Johnson said that he wanted his son transferred to the newest school in town. “I also think they should give him a fully paid scholarship to the school of his choice. We should be compensated for our pain and suffering.” (RC/Taunton Gazette, Boston Globe) ...It’s just a guess, but maybe they sent the wrong Mr. Johnson for a psychological evaluation.
Publication Date: 20 December 2009
This story is in True’s book collection, Volume 16.

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