Tell Me True, Oh All Knowing Bunnies O’ Mine

What do you think I should do?

I dunno if I’ve posted them before, but these are some of Damien’s drawings that I have scanned into my laptop and saved on disc. There are so many of his artworks that I’ve lost over the years and I don’t ant to lose any more…
So what’s up I hear you ask…?
Well, I had training today and I got home a little before Damien- so instead of me fetching him, his lift dropped him off at our flat. You know, I know my darling child so well it’s scary- and when he walked in the door I could tell something was up even though he hadn’t uttered a word.
I said howdy and asked how his day was. He answered with “Hello” and “Fine”, put his bag down, and parked himself on the couch. Then he disappeared into his bedroom and about an hour later he reappeared and said to me- “I’m not allowed to draw fantasy pictures at school anymore.” He was wearing his “I’m really pissed off” look too. Yes, he has a look.
I frowned at him and asked why? It didn’t make much sense to me…
He told me he had to draw an invitation to a party for Afrikaans. It was a rock party, so he drew a flaming skull with a chain hanging from where the ear would be and an “R” on the chain- for “Rocker”. His Afrikaans teacher tore it up. She actually tore it up! Then she told him it was too, um… how can I put it… er, too evil for her taste. WTF?! If I remember correctly, every boy who can draw- even a little bit- goes through the guns, skulls, cars and tanks phase!!
Then he had to write a letter for Afrikaans. He plays Warhammer- and his army is made up of Chaos Space Marines, which he bought with his birthday money. Then he was told he wasn’t allowed to play Warhammer with the school club- at least not with his own army- because “they’re evil”. I was a little perplexed, because I’ve always been watchful about the things I allow him to play with or watch on TV. But he said he was okay with it and I let it go. And he still plays with friends on weekends. And he still helps make terrain for the school club, which he enjoys immensely. Ooer, I’m getting sidetracked… back to the letter- he wrote to a Chaos Space Marine Daemon Lord. Had I seen it, I woulda suggested he write to someone (something, heh heh) else… but apparently this same teacher tore it up too- and told him it was inappropriate and he had to redo it!
And I know it’s not just me, because Damien asked me to speak to the school and I asked my mommy darling if she thought I may be over reacting (as I’m sure you’ve noticed I have a tendency to do). And take note- I have not yet articulated a swear word or even raised my voice- I’ve counted to ten about 50 times- but so far I am being very composed and playing the part of the mature mom.
Anyhoodle*, he then tells me that for art they had to design a mural. His is graffiti like. It says “Freedom for All”, has a machine gun in a red circle with a stripe through it (like a no-smoking sign) and a couple of smoking bullet “holes” in the drawing. He was working on it during a free period when this same teacher saw it and asked him to go with her to the office, and to take his art book with him. Once in the office, he was lectured at about everything from Satanism to drugs and prayed over for almost an hour!
Now… please remember, loyal bunnies- I am a Christian- and I have mentioned more than once that I am worried about Damien’s Christian education because I left it too late… but his artistic and creative ability is a God given talent- and I like to nurture it. And we have spoken about his chosen subject matter… as much as I love fantasy art I keep an eye on what he’s doing. You all know how he and I talk.
So I’m going to the school to talk to them. I’m going to be calm and collected and remind them how much Damien likes their school and how much he has grown and improved this year. And then I’m going to tell them that as much as I appreciate them caring so much about Damien- I don’t agree with how they’re handling the situation- and I want them to stop doing it.

Oh, and Damien and I have spoken about it, and as his granny Darling said he’d best prepare himself for criticism of his art. I just told him to leave the dragon drawings for home and for me for now!

*smooches, oh goddess of coping skills

About Angel

Wife, mom, cake artist, Guide Dog puppy raiser, ADHD champion, wedding planner, and tattooed cat slave.

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16 Responses to Tell Me True, Oh All Knowing Bunnies O’ Mine

  1. Tom says:

    That is RIDICULOUS! You pay them to educate and uplift your child, not to demean them and make them feel unworthy! If she was worried about it’s symbolism, she should have at least talked to him about it and asked what he felt his drawings symbolised.

    Good for you for tearing a strip off them!

  2. Writeprocrastinator says:

    “as for wristrockets- they’re popular here too- my dad used to do target practice with his on mynah birds in his garden!”

    Yikes!

  3. angel says:

    e.c.: 0;-p glad i could give you some kind of heads up then!

  4. Eternally Curious says:

    Thanks for the reassurance Angel – but I think it is a wise parent who is prepared for this type of thing anyway. It is more widespread than you might imagine. FS’s own teacher (both this year and next year’s teacher) have told me to “be careful” who I let see FS’s artwork or read his stories – even in the school he’s in right now! In fact, his teacher and I have already this year been down the road of having to talk about why he completely understands and supports FS reading a certain series of books, but can’t risk allowing him to share those books in class because there would be teachers and parents (both) who would not approve, much less understand! Why??? They aren’t bad books at all — just different. But there you have it…

    Keep supporting and fighting to defend Damien Angel, as I know you always will. He so deserves it. I do hope things worked out for the best when you spoke to the teacher/school.

  5. angel says:

    supermom: i couldn’t believe she tore them up either!

    h.e.: thanx dude. i haven’t spoken to any other moms… maybe i should. you know what, this is the same teacher- the only teacher- who specifically asked to see me on parents evening because of something damien said in her class which i thought was actually funny…

    e.c.: i dunno if you need to worry e.c. – its just this one teacher…

    spookie: “nasty” is a very good choice of word sis! thanx for the advice, i’m mulling it over and praying this weekend so i can get some insight before i go and see them.

    vis: you’re a peach girl! thanx for the giggle!

    katt: i’m thinking of recommending something…

    terri: thanx terri, what would i do without you guys!?!

    katy, katy, katy: i am very upset about her tesaring up his work- that’s not how teachers should handle stuff like this. it would insult an adult as well!

    mel: i was (and still am) indeed livid mel… especially since this school is supposed to be tolerant of adhd-ers and their quirks, and they’re supposed to work extra hard at not making the kids feel like outcasts… as most of them have through their school careers!
    i’m definitely going to mention the possibility of a tattoo artist- he has already shown his designs to the tattoo place i go to and they love his work.

    allan: trust me dude… the baseball bat is immensely tempting!

    writeprocrastinator: i couldn’t agree more! as for wristrockets- they’re popular here too- my dad used to do target practice with his on mynah birds in his garden!

  6. Writeprocrastinator says:

    With all the truly evil things going on in this world, this is like yelling at someone for microwaving a cup of tea and calling it significant cause of global warming.

    The teacher, rather than bothering to use any sensible perspective, would rather take something trivial and turn it into a major example. If she felt that strongly, she should’ve simply confiscated it and given it to him after school.

    I shudder to think what happens to gum chewers and note passers under her dictatorship. A phalanx of teachers as a firing squad, with wristrockets (high powered slingshots that use surgical tubing) and balls of carpet tacks at dawn?

  7. Allan says:

    I think you are handling it as best possible.
    I’d use a baseball bat.
    Your approach is better.

    Those are good sketches- Damien should be encouraged, not discouraged. Skulls are essential anatomy and hard to draw- it’s a skill.

  8. Mel says:

    You are indeed restrained and calm. I would be flippin’ livid. When he starts drawing nazi symbols or klu klux then I would be concerned. If she didn’t think his picture was suitable she could have suggested something else and he could have kept his pic. To tear it up is crossing the line. The praying for deliverence is also way out of line. Its these kind of people who give us HC’s a bad name. I think you need to pray about this over the weekend so you can go in and try and speak some sense into them without being too aggro. I think Damien should train to be a tattoo artist. Really!

  9. Dino aka Katy says:

    OMG I can’t believe you were this calm I would have totally blown up. NOBODY but Damien (or the person that BOUGHT his art) is allowed to destroy it. I don’t care if the teacher doesn’t like it – then she should have sent it home with a note. And who the hell does she think she is to make him pray for an hour?????? No offense but that is oh don’t get me started on that. The boy has talent he is allowed to express that in what ever way he likes and unless he draws why would she have a problem with him drawing something AGAINST gun violence????

  10. Terri says:

    I think you’re doing the right thing in going to talk to the principal – ditto all the others’ opinions here. I hope he doesn’t take it to heart and well I guess if he has to think twice about what he sketches at school then so be it; Nonetheless tearing them up is very harsh and you should, indeed, voice your disapproval to the school.

  11. Katt says:

    This is a bit hectic, and I am not referring to the drawings…

    Sheesh, I have no idea what to say. The teacher should take a chill pill.

  12. Invisible says:

    Okay I am about to pop off in the fucker angel. This particular teacher is singling out your child because the teacher has an issue with said ART. I am very unpleased about the way the teacher is handling it from the very first thing. The rock and roll theme? (grabbing the teacher by thecollar) BITCH PLEASE… what did she want? rainbows ad butterflies of the 60’s? and furthermore that would invoke drugs and such …

    And lastly, you personal restraint is AMAZING.. I have been tossed out of my kids schools for cussing them out. (I now send the not so tempermental aunt for dealings with them) … I dont know what type of school you have there but … hell to the no .. he isnt promoting the violence as I can tell from your post. He is merely expressing his impression of the assignment. OMG I must stop ranting.. let me know you didnt get taken to jail or something… thanks

  13. Brigitte says:

    Tearing his stuff up is really a nasty gesture. I cannot imagine how the poor kid must have felt.

    And if they have such a problem with fantasy drawing remind them gently of exactly who wrote Narnia (with loads of scary and fantasy creatures) AND Lord of the Rings. CS Lewis has a very creative mind and he uses it to tell stories to his children that are filled with parallels to the Word. He is a well known Christian author and his books have been read by many many children. How are children siupposed to survive without imagination? I think you have handled it very well so far.

    Oh, and remind them too that it is ok to pray for someone IF they want it. I don’t know many people who would say “no” when someone asks if they can pray for them – but if it is not wanted then it should not – ever – be forced. Pray for them in private and in quiet times, but don’t force it on them. Tell them even that you are praying for them, but don’t force them to be prayed for.

    Jesus’ followers were and are His people out of choice – He never forced anyone to follow Him. Remind them of THAT point too.

    “Goo Dluck” sis.I am praying for you both – constantly.

  14. Eternally Curious says:

    Oh boy! What I’ve got to look forward to! FS also likes to draw, and fantasy art is his usual subject matter. Like you, I think his art is fantastic! And I see nothing wrong with it. As you know FS is also in martial arts, studying and paying attention to the mental, pyschological and self-control aspects of martial arts — not the bullying and dominating aspects! We are fortunate in that his teacher this year (and hopefully next year – we’ve already met him) understand and are perfectly OK with FS’s art and story-telling preferences. But I can only imagine (with trepidation) what awaits us beyond that! Forgive me for what I am about to say, but say it I will: The folks at Damien’s school are the same (very much backwards and hurtful) souls who whould have J. K. Rowlings’ (sp?) Harry Potter series banned!!!!!!!

  15. homo escapeons says:

    Symbollism..it’s just Symbollism.
    I thought that his freedom for all machine gun is brilliant.

    As the only Protestant child in a Catholic School I would draw during Catechism and get a lot of mean glances from the Nuns.
    I would warily sketch Dinosaurs attacking Noah’s Ark.
    Sharks swallowing women with huge boobs. Monsters eating Nuns, detonating Atomic Bombs, monsters with huge boobs and Nuns with huge boobs! Never once did I get one caught because I figured that I would be on a plane to the Vatican to get doused in kerosene by the Spanish Inquisition. So I was a little paranoid. But all of the bizarre subject matter wasn’t a precursor to a life of crime!

    First of all why would she tear it up..does she fancy herself some kind of halfassed psychiatrist..maybe she should stick to those Rorschach Inkblot tests!

    I guess I don’t understand this teacher who is on some sort of crusade…wonder what she has hidden in her house? Those that fight the hardest against ‘evil’ things have a remarkable track record of hypocrisy don’t they?

    This new PC world drives me crazy and I am pretty much given up on ‘playing along’ now. I like the idea of common sense instead of adhering to some universal everything is beautiful in it’s own way theology.

    I suppose the dragons at home scenario will work until you are rid of that tedious teacher.
    Have you talked to any other Moms?

  16. Melany aka Supermom says:

    Sjoe. I cant believe she TORE it UP!!!! Okay, so she didn’t like it but she didn’t have to teat it up! Nee man. That’s too much. I would definitely talk to the school. I’m sorry. That’s just not right