Assigned to draw political cartoons on current issues, a student at a suburban New Orleans middle school depicted President Obama with a bullet hole in the head; another showed Mitt Romney and Looney Tunes characters flanking an “Obama hunting season” sign.
“Several were blatantly disrespectful and derogatory,” said parent Karen Stampley, who complained to the principal of Boyet Junior High in Slidell, Louisiana. The whole exhibit came down today and the school district has launched an “investigation.” (Here are the offending cartoons.)
Stampley also objected to two other cartoons.
(One shows) a mixed crowd of black and white, young and old people saying “Bring back ‘our’ America!!” on one side of the Washington Monument while, on the other side, a confused-looking Obama shrugged his shoulders below a thought balloon filled with question marks and exclamation marks.
The fourth shows the president’s face, a red map marked “Libya,” and a question that is illegible in the photo except for the last word and punctuation: “Obomba?”
Political cartoons often disrespect the president or other leaders. Joking about assassination is another matter. The social studies teacher should not have posted the bullet-hole cartoon. The “hunting season” cartoon was defensible, since it clearly wasn’t meant to be literal, but a wise teacher would not have displayed it.
Was the whole assignment unwise?