Artists. They’re nothing but trouble!

Case in point: An art student at Shenendehowa High School tacked up pictures of President Trump and allowed his classmates to express themselves by drawing or writing on them. When school administrators discovered that people were scrawling obscenities on the pictures, the art installation was removed.

I’m pretty sure somebody also drew a dick on Trump’s face, which was as predictable as it was appropriate. And as predictable as the response from the school principal, who told WTEN, “Anytime we allow students to write whatever they want there’s a very good chance it won’t come out the way we want it.”


It reminds me of when I got in trouble as editor of the Carle Place High School newspaper, The Crossroads. One time I was interrogated by the gym teachers over writing an editorial about Title IX; on another occasion, the principal dragged me out of class for having the audacity to visit the district office and ask for a copy of the school budget. The same principal, Edward Leistman, later sacked the paper’s  academic advisor and ended up in court over it.

We all thought it was outrageous that our tyrannical principal wanted to reign over our newspaper with an iron fist — but he did have a point. The school district was the paper’s publisher, Leistman explained. If we wanted free speech, we were welcome to pay for printing the paper ourselves, write it on our own time and not use his staff to help get it done.


The lesson: When someone else pays for your free speech, free it ain’t.

4 thoughts on “Defaced

  1. I heard Vandenburgh talking about this topic today. He kept complaining that the town supervisor hadn’t spoken up on the issue. Doesn’t that dickbag realize that the school district operates independently of town government?

    1. Who knows with that guy? Remember, he’s in the no fact zone.

      However, I hope we can keep this conversation civil and refrain from calling Mr. Vandenburgh a “dickhead.”

      We should also not refer to him as douchebag, fuckface, shit-for-brains, fucktard or asshat. Thank you for your cooperation.

    1. Blowhard and windbag are fine. Jackass is on the fence, but jackoff is crossing the line. Scumbag is probably acceptable.

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