'God is Dead' art removed from Newton Co. school - FOX 13 News

'God is Dead' art removed from Newton Co. school

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Controversial artwork with the words "God is dead" has been removed from the wall of a Newton County high school after attracting worldwide attention.

The posters, featuring a quote from the Arthur Miller play "The Crucible," were displayed at Alcovy High School as part of a language arts project.

Crystal Mitchell complained that the artwork upset her 10th grade daughter.

"She had no idea what ‘The Crucible' was, so to her they were just simply words on a wall," said Mitchell.
Earlier this month, Newton County school district officials told FOX 5 that they would not remove the artwork, saying that the poster reflects literature and is not an attack on religion. The play is about the Salem witch trials and is meant to symbolize the hunt for communists in the Joseph McCarthy era.

"The student was not reflecting religious preferences; basically, he's just reflecting a quote in the book," said Sherri Davis-Viniard of Newton County Schools.

Mitchell started a social media effort, including a Facebook page, "God is Alive in Newton," that garnered thousands of supporters.

"We had overwhelming response from concerned parents and people that were like, ‘This isn't right,'" Mitchell said.

The high school then agreed to explain the context of the artwork to freshmen and sophomores.

However, this week Mitchell said that the artwork was removed.
A district spokesperson told FOX 5, "The teacher made the decision to remove the art work until such time that she teaches the American literature course and 'The Crucible' as part of the associated curriculum."

Newton County Commissioner John Douglas told FOX 5's Kaitlyn Pratt that the school superintendent told him that the current curriculum was only part of the reason. The superintendent reportedly said that the school system doesn't need the national distraction.

"She said it had just become too much of a distraction for her and for the school here and for the rest of the school system to tolerate," Douglas said.

Word about the artwork's removal spread quickly through the community.

"This is a Christian community for the most part, and we believe that those things don't have a place in our school system," said the Rev. Miguel A. Velez of Red Oak United Methodist Church.

Mitchell told FOX 5 that the ordeal made her believe that one person can make a difference.

Do you think school made the right move? Post your thoughts here.

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