First, put down your coffee before it comes out your nose when you read this. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Because this truly boggles the mind.
Every day the internet brings new examples of pure stupidity to light. Every other day, these examples seem to come from Texas. From The Denver Channel (via Crooks&Liars) comes this story about an award-winning art teacher of 28 years who is about to lose her job because someone complained about seeing a nude statue in an art museum. No, this isn’t a joke.
The Fisher Elementary School art teacher came under fire last April when she took 89 fifth-graders on a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. Parents raised concerns over the field trip after their children reported seeing a nude sculpture at the art museum.
The parents had signed permission slips allowing their children to take part in the field trip.
McGee’s lawyer said the principal at Fisher Elementary School admonished her after a parent complained that a student had seen nude art.
Getting mad because you saw a nude statue at an art museum is like getting mad because you saw a bat at a baseball game. And it doesn’t speak too highly of your IQ if you’re the parent in question. If I might be so bold as to inquire, where else would one be more likely to encounter a nude statue? Mark Foley’s house? Granted, there is that Statue of Lady Justice that Ashcroft spend taxpayers’ money to cover with a drape, but this field trip was to the Dallas Museum of Art. These parents all signed permission slips. Where is their basis for complaint, and why is this teacher really being punished? She’s being scapegoated for a parent who didn’t bother to read the permission slip before they signed it.
This is patently stupid move by the parents, and blatent cowardice on the part of the school board. If you don’t believe that your child should see Venus de Milo, or Michelangelo’s David (you know, Michelangelo, the same guy who painted the Sistine Chapel?) both of which are (gasp!) nude statues, then don’t sign the permission slip. Never mind the fact that these are historically recognized pieces of art and have been on display for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Who knows what the real motivation is behind this lashing out at a revered and recognized STAR teacher. I do know that it’s easier to blame the teacher and condemn classical art than get off the couch and encourage your children to exercise, especially given Texans’ affinity for obesity. After all, don’t want your child getting a “body image complex” or anything like that, right? Funny thing, though. A good way to lose that excess weight? Take a walk to, and through, a museum. You just might learn something.
One can only hope.