National Catholic Register


Second-Grader Sent Home for Drawing a Crucifix

BY Tim Drake

| Posted 12/16/09 at 11:19 AM


The European Union wants public schools in Italy to remove crucifixes from the classroom, but at one Massachusetts public school, the administration seems troubled by children who draw crucifixes.

According to WCBV-TV, a Catholic second-grade student at Maxham Elementary School in Taunton, Mass., was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after he drew a stick figure of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Chester Johnson, the boy’s father, said that he received a telephone call on Dec. 2 from the school telling him that his son had created a “violent drawing depicting a crucified Jesus with X’s covering his eyes.”

“He meant no harm,” said Johnson. “He believes in Jesus.”

The 8-year-old student drew the picture two weeks ago shortly after taking a family trip to see the Christmas display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Mass.

The school released a public statement about the incident saying that the child was not suspended and that the drawing that has appeared in the media is not the same drawing that was discovered by the teacher.

“The administration acted in accordance with the school department’s well-established protocol,” says the statement. “This protocol is centered upon the student’s care, well-being and educational success.”

The boy was cleared to return to school the next week after the psychological evaluation found nothing to indicate that he posed a threat to himself or others.