200 students protest over pitched Snitch panel

About 200 students gathered at the school district office in Ashland late this morning for a boisterous protest of what they consider censorship of artwork created by four Ashland High School seniors.

Horns honked, signs waved, bullhorns blared and students hooted jovial chants, like "What's the problem with our bodies? He's not showing any naughties!"

Focus of the ruckus is a mural of fictional wizard Harry Potter as Adam in Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam." Like the original in the Sistine Chapel, Adam has no clothes, but his modesty is saved by Potter's Golden Snitch, a magic little sphere with wings. That section of the mural was removed by the high school's principal April 11, the same day it was put up.

The four seniors who painted it Tuesday protested violation of their rights in a meeting with Ashland Schools Superintendent Juli DiChiro. A new meeting between the students and Principal Jeff Schlecht is set Friday.

Participants in today's rally suggested that if no resolution can be found with the school administration, the issue would likely be taken to the school board and, if necessary, to the state Board of Education as a civil rights issue. Schlecht originally cited school district policy against excessive bareness in his decision to remove the panel.

— John Darling

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