Georgia mom upset over 'God is dead' artwork in school

By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Aug. 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Crystal Mitchell is angry about a drawing hanging in her daughter's classroom, on which a student wrote the phrase, "God is Dead."

"It made my daughter very uncomfortable," Mitchell said. "If my child can't pray in school and they've taken religion out of school, for this to be plastered on the walls of school, is a huge concern for me."

Mitchell may not have read "The Crucible," or seen it on Broadway, or seen one of the two film adaptations, but the canonical American play that depicts the Salem witch trials as an allegory for Red Scare McCarthyism is standard high school reading. The play was written by Arthur Miller, who also penned "Death of a Salesman."

Delivered by wrongfully imprisoned protagonist John Proctor, the phrase "God is dead" was metaphorical. But Mitchell's daughter may not have been in class that day.

Mitchell started the Facebook page God is Alive in Newton and gained hundreds of followers in just a few days.

"Thousands of students read this book every year. If it's not appropriate on the classroom wall, where is it appropriate?" asked Sherri Davis-Viniard of Newton County Schools.

Mitchell met with Alcovy High School Principal Dr. Sandra Owens, who explained the drawing was a reflection of the play, and not a religious statement.

But in the spirit of compromise and clarity, school leaders have agreed to meet with ninth and tenth grade students to explain the context of the pictures, which will remain on display.

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