Monday, November 03, 2008

Jesus, Joker and Jersey

Jesus may love New Jersey, but Jersey doesn't love Jesus.

Alex Woinski (pictured below), an 8th grader at West Brook Middle School in Paramus, New Jersey, dressed up as Jesus for Halloween. Calling his costume disruptive and saying that some people were offended by it, his principal sent him home to change.

Because I'm feeling lazy, I'll borrow another blogger's thoughts on this.

"As a veteran teacher, I have seen a lot of creatures come into school on Halloween in my thirty five years of teaching experience, all of them 'distracting.' As a faculty we chalked up this past Halloween day to fun and fantasy, maintaining a sense of humor, as we usually do. The children I teach, Alex's age group, eighth grade, are heavy into demonic fantasy and slash/gore. I would have welcomed Alex's Jesus Christ personage and it would have given my students pause to think about their costumes. In censoring him a teachable moment was lost. Even though I can't speak of my religious faith in public school, I could have used the opportunity to note that no one thought to come dressed as Ghandhi, Buddha, Mother Theresa, Benjamin Franklin, Noah, Ghengis Khan or Zeus. All of these aforementioned are covered in the Social Studies curriculum, including Jesus Christ... a teachable moment was lost." ~Art as Prayer~

I'd be pretty willing to bet that this blogger and I don't agree on much when it comes to religion, but here she's right on target. Rather than quash anything that even hints at being contentious, students would be better served if schools used potential controversy to teach kids something. That way our young people might even graduate high school being able to do something other than ace a standardized test. They might be able to think for themselves.



Related, from the home front: Rock Star's friend also very convincingly pulled off Jesus on Halloween. Being past puberty he even had the genuine facial hair that Woinski lacked. He didn't make the nightly news, though, because apparently no one at our local school realized they were supposed to be offended by a Jesus costume.

Rock Star went as Joker. I had suggested he dress up as bride of Frankenstein, but he absolutely refused to be anything that required wearing a bra or stockings. Too bad, because my other great idea was that he go as a drag queen.

(No, Rock Star, that does not mean I think you're girly, it means I think you have enough chutzpah to carry off something like that instead of going with the flow. And that, in my book, is a good thing.)

1 comment:

crazy working mom said...

Just crazy that they sent this boy home! I think that many times the schools just don't use common sense when it comes to policy.

The joker photo is amazing! What a great costume.