A high school in California has discontinued using an infamous image of a crucifix submerged in urine as part of its curriculum following backlash from parents and threats of lawsuits.
Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, part of the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD), drew the ire of Christian students and parents for using Andres Serrano’s controversial 1987 photograph, Immersion (Piss Christ), as part of a required Theory of Knowledge course for its International Baccalaureate Diploma, according to attorneys with the Thomas More Society.
The image, which depicts a crucifix in a jar of Serrano’s urine, sparked a firestorm of public outrage when it debuted in 1987 after being created with grant money from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts.
Attorneys with the nonprofit Thomas More Society fired off a letter to the SBUSD on May 9 claiming the school had created an illegal hostile environment for Christian students by using the image and demanded it be removed from the Dos Pueblos High School curriculum.
“The school’s deliberate use of a despicable image in a course required for an International Baccalaureate Diploma shows extremely poor judgment,” Thomas More Society special counsel Paul Jonna said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital. “Even more importantly, it is an act of unconstitutional anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bigotry.”
The attorneys at Thomas More claimed their demand letter was at first met with a “noncommittal response” from the district’s legal counsel, noting a May 22 response letter from them did not verify that the image would be permanently removed from the course.
Parents upset at the inclusion of Piss Christ in the curriculum showed up at the public comment portion of a SBUSD school board meeting on May 23, and those who challenged the principal and threatened a lawsuit were met with applause, according to a video.
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