The June 18 Rutland Herald article titled “Student artwork censored” was both horrifying and cruel. Poor baby students! They were uncomfortable seeing paintings of man’s cruelty to man, much less man’s cruelty to women. It is unthinkable that a young, bright, talented student should have a year’s work rejected out of hand because it made some kids uncomfortable!
Mill River Union High School should ban all photos of Holocaust concentration camps. Ban all paintings of Jesus suffering on the cross. For heaven’s sake, surely no photos of babies being torn from their mother’s arms at the Mexican border. Those images make the poor babies uncomfortable.
In other words, it’s the education philosophy of the Mill River school to shield their students from the horrors of our own culture, much less those of other cultures, not to mention world history. Worse, they reject the research and study that Ms. Zarfati-Eirmann worked so hard to validate her project. Administration minimized that effort and rejected it for the stupidest of reasons. Art is meant to educate, not just admire.
In the event that Ms. Zarfati-Eirmann is graded an “incomplete” for her year’s work instead of the “A+” she deserves, thereby damaging her efforts to gain admission to the college or university of her choice, or damage her ability to obtain scholarship funds, then it is my hope that she will contact an attorney, and or the American Civil Liberties Union and bring a lawsuit against the school, as well as personally against the individuals that approved this action.
Why? Because, although I’m not a lawyer, I do know that the requirements for litigation are: has there been injury? Is there causation? And is there redress? If this smart, talented young woman has her grade point average diminished as a result of the action taken by the school administration, then you bet she’s been injured, and the cause well known, and you bet there’s redress.
Enid K. Reiman is a Rutland resident.