Art is also Speech. And in our society, freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of how we live.
Kids who learn about the arts learn about speech, and its power. They learn how dealing with ideas out in the open, and keeping as many channels open as possible, make our society what it is. They also learn how someone with something to say, and the means to say it, can change the world.
When we fail to teach the arts, we leave off a part of their participation in our great experiment, and we neglect to show them the full impact of speech.
This is one of their fundamental rights, and it is one they should exercise with conscience, and with awareness of their own power to speak with paint or pixels or movement or music or whatever makes their voice go. And as they learn this, they will also learn to respect (and not to fear or be bullied by) the many voices around them.
Art is Power, Art is Speech.