Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Nekkid Statues, oh my!

So, this teacher got suspended for taking students to an art exhibit in which they saw a nude statue. This, after the principal recommended that the experienced, well-acclaimed teacher, Sydney McGee, take the students on the trip to the Dallas, TX museum.

What is up with people?!?! Are we really so easily offended that teachers can't teach without fear of offending someone? Of course, our kids all have Jay Z on the iPod and watch Laguna Beach without issue, but take a student to an art museum and you could lose your job.

Right now, the Avampato Discovery Museum has, on exhibit, a tiny etching by Picasso. There are nudes in the etching. You can see girly parts and boy parts, and it's really not that big of a deal. If I take my students to see that etching and someone gets offended, will I lose my job? I doubt it. My administration has much more sense than that. However, I will teach every day with just a little more paranoia after reading more and more news articles like this. Unfortunately, people love to be offended, and since we're such a litigous society, the punishment for offending someone is always severe. It's easier to fire a teacher than to defend one.

I would like to see a photo of the sculpture so I can judge for myself. Unfortunately, none of the articles I've found have a photo. From the museum's website, it looks like they might have an exhibit of Ancient Middle Eastern sculpture. I don't know if that's the exhibit that caused the offense, but if it is, its' a shame that someone would be so offended over the human body that they would go after a teacher's job. It's going to get to the point where teachers won't take the opportunity to take kids to museums for fear of starting a controversy.

Thanks to Jedi Jawa for the link.

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