Controversy over questionable images in a La Verne high school student magazine

Images of a police officer in a KKK hood-- aiming a gun at a child. Just one of the images that's got everyone in a local school district talking.

The graphic, anti-President Trump cartoons would not have been out of place in, say, the LA Times or the NY Times, or a news magazine, but in a school sponsored publication? Public school? Well, plenty of parents said ''no way'' after LaVerne's highly regarded Bonita High published two cartoons taken from Google images as part of an article in which the student author was making the point (or trying to) that it is perfectly acceptable for artists to use their images to create dialogue on controversial issues.

Some parents I spoke with were very upset that politics was being ''forced'' upon their children, and they were quite vocal about it, taking to Facebook (of course) to vent their concerns.

I'm quite certain other parents were OK with the images, as controversial as they may be to some, in the interests of stimulating thought provoking discussion, but those parents didn't come forward as strongly.

When you see the images in the accompanying story, you might feel strongly one way or the other. I can tell you that LaVerne Police were hurt and insulted and the school district apologized, though when I asked about it all the School District would only issue a brief statement explaining that student publications have first amendment rights and the content doesn't represent the beliefs of the District or the School.

Fine, but no one apparently felt the need to speak to me to answer my many questions about the process of publishing, or if anyone even reviewed the material or why the online issue was taken down and all the hard copies pulled.

As one parent told me, topics like religion and politics don't belong in public schools. Do they? When these kids get to college they sure can take those subjects, but perhaps the idea then is that it will be their choice.

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