Art class: where expression should be unlimited

Freedom of expression is a fundamental liberty that all people in America are granted. Included in our first amendment, freedom of speech and expression cannot be limited by government censorship.
This is a principle aspect of our democratic nation, and although there are limitations that can be made within private institutions, matters regarding these freedoms should not be taken lightly.
Recently, the H-F administration has banned the art department from creating nude art work. Students will now not be able to draw or paint the human body, display this art work in the class, or even submit the artwork to an AP portfolio.
While I understand the school doesn’t want distractions in the classrooms, nude drawings are a fundamental principle of art.
Additionally, there are many other places in the school where nudity appears and is not censored.
Students in Art History are taught about Michelangelo and his most famous sculpture, David, a naked man. In Health, a class required here at H-F, all students are taught about every part of the human body, how it works and functions. In AP Literature, all students are given a book with a shirtless, sexualized photo of actor Marlon Brando.
The list goes on, however, the point is students are exposed to sexual images and references throughout their high school career. These examples are much more provocative and obscene then the artwork created by students.
In making this decision, H-F as a school is limiting student expression and failing to understand the importance of the human body in art, while including it in other subjects in the school.
Many students paint the raw form of the human body as a way to encourage positive body image, loving your body for what it is, and ironically, take away the constant stereotype of a nude body being sexualized.
Painting or drawing the human figure is something all artists have to do when learning and developing their artistic skills.
Despite the fact that it is morally unfair for H-F to make this decision, it legally does not appear just.
According to page 10 of the H-F handbook, students are able to exercise the right to freedom of speech and expression to the extent “where the manner of expression does not materially intrude upon the orderly process of the school, does not violate the rights of others, is not obscene or libelous, or does not advocate racial or religious prejudices.”
Although there is nothing that specifically references artwork and advertising, this portion of the handbook seemed to directly affect the issue at hand.
According to the Illinois Statute, obscenity is not considered a crime just because nudity is involved. “Both the Illinois Supreme Court and appellate courts have consistently held that pictorial or written portrayals of nudity may be obscene if accompanied by indications of imminent and impending explicit sexual activity.”
These images that are being created in art do not reflect sexual activity. The meanings behind these paintings are pure, and reflect the beauty of the human body rather than the sexualized nature of a naked body.
I believe it is unfair for restrictions to be put on what we as students are allowed to make in a class that is about expressing yourself. In AP Art Studio, the whole point of the portfolio is exploring your artistic style, finding your voice within your own art, and that is being taken away through this new rule.
The H-F administration needs to understand the repercussions that this policy will put on the art students, and they should reconsider their decision by taking into account the intentions of these artists and their work.