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Tue May 19, 2015, 11:32 AM

Was students' police brutality art inappropriate for school show?



Artwork depicting scenes of police brutality displayed in a Westfield High School art show set off a firestorm of comments last week from police supporters who called the images "a gross misrepresentation," "ignorant" and "one-sided."

Others said the artwork shouldn't be censored and felt it was fair to solicit the perceptions of the students."

The school has stood behind the teacher and the project. Westfield Superintendent Margaret Dolan has said the teacher was encouraging students to look at more than one side of an issue.

The story also resonated with our readers who wrote in more than 1,000 comments.

Here, a sampling of what readers had to say. Some comments have been edited for length."


"The teacher that allowed this should be fired. Any artwork for a kids art show shouldn't depict violence, sex or drugs. The place for that art is in adult world."

" I applaud the Superintendent for sticking up for the freedom for students to express opinions. It wasn't meant to say all police are bad, but was a reflection of what is happening across the nation."

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/05/was_students_police_brutality_art_too_controversia.html

11 replies, 769 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Was students' police brutality art inappropriate for school show? (Original post)
damnedifIknow May 2015 OP
Nye Bevan May 2015 #1
damnedifIknow May 2015 #4
FLPanhandle May 2015 #2
el_bryanto May 2015 #3
tblue37 May 2015 #5
Maedhros May 2015 #6
KamaAina May 2015 #7
jwirr May 2015 #8
Oneironaut May 2015 #9
LanternWaste May 2015 #10
Downwinder May 2015 #11

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 11:36 AM

1. That display is absolutely, 100% fine for a high school.

If other students want to create artwork to express a difference of opinion, let them do so. I actually love to see high schoolers getting involved in this kind of thing; anything that raises their awareness of current events and sparks them to think about difficult issues is a good thing.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Tue May 19, 2015, 11:51 AM

4. I agree

After all they are on the verge of entering the adult world so why try and subject them to doing so with blinders on?

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 11:38 AM

2. Appropriate at the HS level

If this was elementary school, I would say the kids were too young.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 11:38 AM

3. It's an interesting question

Did the students participate in selecting the the theme ? And was it the only one available? It looks like, from the photo, that there were plenty of other options for potential themes.

I guess I would have a question if it were the only option available - particularly because students might well have a range of feelings on this issue and aren't necessarily likely to express those views well at that age.

Bryant

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 11:57 AM

5. Appropriate and valuable. nt

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 11:57 AM

6. In my opinion, students shouldn't lose their right to freedom of expression

 

just because they're students.

Others may disagree.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 12:04 PM

7. "Art is not a mirror in which to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it."

 

-Bertolt Brecht

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 12:06 PM

8. I support this totally. The first commenter in the article is so wrong. This maybe should be an

adult subject but the killings have not stayed in the adult world. Many of the people killed were children or just out of high school.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 12:09 PM

9. Good art is seldom "appropriate."

Also, the nice way of describing that one backlash comment about no "violence, sex, or drugs" is "naive." Kids already live in this world from a young age. I'm not talking about sheltered suburban life, but the real world.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 12:13 PM

10. Shallow minded adults tend to forget other places for that include history lessons

"shouldn't depict violence, sex or drugs. The place for that art is in adult world."

Shallow minded adults tend to forget other places for that include history lessons on the Holocaust and Civil Rights. And lit classes handing out On the Road and All Quiet on the Western Front and the Diary of Anne Frank.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue May 19, 2015, 12:26 PM

11. It is a shame that police brutality is a subject of debate.

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