Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Taunton, Mass – A Christmas Story


What’s a teacher to do? She has a set of rules she must enforce with a policy which came from on high. We have a kid who has been taught that the Christmas season is about Jesus Christ. It is a classic tale of rigidity meets religion.

What started as a report on a classroom incident in which some rules were broken has now become an attack on the schools and browbeating of the kid. The first report stated that the teacher asked the class of 8 year olds to draw something which showed the meaning of Christmas. The younger Master Johnson allegedly turned in a drawing of a stick figure on a cross. The teacher then looked at the drawing and saw the horror and the crude torture depicted and the alarm bells went off. “We have a “zero-tolerance” for violence here in the second grade and this will not be tolerated.” was probably what went through the teacher’s mind. This, in turn, demanded reporting to a higher echelon, counseling, and action up to and including suspension.

After this exchange, the father, Chester Johnson, a goodly and a Godly man, responsibly made a considerable fuss and sought to find out what these folks at school are thinking. It appears he took the kid to a local shrine as a pre-Christmas treat where the youth was exposed to various Christian icons which included crucifixion statues. He made the connection of the birth celebration as the introduction to the entire life of  Christ and wisely discovered that the beginning led to the glorious end in the death and resurrection. Not bad for an eight year old.

Back at the school this rare theological insight continued to be lost on the educators. There, the concentration was still on the violent death. Now comes the rub. The school officials, now under all out assault from Christians nation-wide, are denying complicity in any of this. They claim the drawing shown by Mr. Johnson is not the same as the one turned in by his son. They also assert that they did not threaten him with any punishment of any stripe for violating the non-violence policy. Julie Hackett, the superintendent, who was formerly unable to return calls of inquiry has now come out with a formal statement to disclaim almost the entire affair.

As a father of boys and grandfather of an ever increasing number of lads as well, I may assure you that an eight year old boy is far more likely to be fascinated by a cross than a crèche. To them, a guy (Jesus Christ) with a spear in his side and wearing a crown of thorns is far more interesting that some dinky kid (also Jesus Christ) wrapped in rags in a manger. These kids are probably not aware of the significance of the fulfillment of Old Testament predictions of His miraculous appearance and deliverance by the Virgin Mary. If you don’t believe this, gift wrap a Barbie doll and a blunderbuss and watch the reaction on Christmas morning.

The villains here are those who are not capable of understanding little boys. Those who wish to turn them into little automatons with squishy, feel-good outlooks, who have been taught to shun any thing which might turn them into solid respectable men. Those who would wish to suppress the natural state of those who would become men to forward a personal questionable outlook are the ones at fault—counter claims not withstanding.

Mr. Chester Johnson of Taunton, Mass. is my hero. He is a real father who will go to any lengths to protect his son from these vultures. His early training of his son, demonstrated by the visit to the shrine, will stay with that kid far longer than the clap trap spewed at the school. Young Johnson has that rare gift of a father who loves and cares for him.

Chester, a word to you: this has nothing to do with race. If my kid had done this, they would have nailed him just as easily and ignorantly. Our public schools have become an “equal opportunity” destroyer of young boys. You may well have bona fide racial grievances but this isn’t one of them.

In conclusion, we wish both Chester Johnson and his son a very Merry Christmas. May God shine His light upon you.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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