Reader: Child busted for stick-figure sketch makes art therapy fodder for thought police

Our post about an eleven-year old arrested after drawing a stick-figure sketch featuring a gun has stirred up a passionate debate about the wisdom (or lack thereof) demonstrated by this response.

Here's one particularly strong post.

BrainPolice writes:

No wonder people home-school.

With this type of hysterical reaction to directed art therapy, from a therapist, who would want to send their children to this school or live anywhere near police like this?

If you tell ANY child to sketch their violent thoughts, which is a common and constructive practice -- to help identify and to help assess real intentions to ACT on negative or violent thoughts -- then they are going to sketch violent stuff. And it doesn't matter whether it's the student most apt or the student least apt to commit a violent act. Kids will sketch some sketchy stuff. So will adults, if asked to sketch violent thoughts.

But there's a BIG difference between sketching violent scenarios (just look at all the art and photo journalism depicting the violence of war) and acting out these scenarios, thank God. And most sensible and rational law enforcement realize this.

This is just plain scary. Explore the child's thoughts. Don't arrest him for thinking them and sketching them, especially considering his therapist encouraged him to do this ...With this sort of precedence, all sorts of kids could be sent home and deprived of an education for simply opening up to an adult.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


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