Art Teacher Loses Job After Kids See Nude Sculpture

I checked, it isn’t the John Ashcroft Memorial Elementary School.

FRISCO, Texas — An award-winning Texas art teacher who was reprimanded after one of her fifth-grade students saw a nude sculpture during a trip to a museum has lost her job.

The school board in Frisco has voted not to renew Sydney McGee’s contract after 28 years. She has been on administrative leave.

The teacher took her students on an approved field trip to a Dallas museum, and now some parents are upset.

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.

24 Comments

  1. wow, that was the first naked person that kid has ever seen? that’s quite an accomplishment on his mothers’ part. he must take baths in the dark.

  2. Fudamentalists of all religions would have us back in the dark ages if they had their way. I say give fundamentalists the Battle Royale treatment, put them all on an Island and let them fight it out, then the rest of us can live our lives in peace. I wonder who would win the Battle Royale? A Jew, a Christian or a Muslim?

  3. TV, video games, and the news depict violent crimes of all kinds every day, but it’s that innocent nudity that’ll surely screw ’em up. It’s almost as bad as tarnishing a bloodbath with foul language.

  4. These same people are probably saying “Kill the gays! Kill the Mexicans! Kill all the A-rabs! But don’t….you….dare…look…at…a….sculpted….nipple!”

  5. Rather than fire the teacher, it should be the parent who is sacked from the obviously too difficult task of bringing up her child properly.

    It’s amazing that she hasn’t sued the Museum!

  6. Bill, sensitive much? Nobody called for some general “death to Christians” and nobody is complaining about intolerance. Paul would like to see *fundamentalists* left to each other, which isn’t such a bad idea. But if they don’t fight, they don’t fight. You think they would?

    The rest of us can get by pointing out the idiocy, paranoia, and over-sensitivity of this fear of the human form.

  7. Well listen Amos, the problem I see is that we’re taking a few extreme examples and labelling Christians as “stupid”, prudish, ignorant, etc. Then lets suggest we exile them to an island along with people from another religion who are fanatical about wanting to kill the Christians and see what happens. Nice. Hey, illegal Mexicans are trashing our National and State Parks with garbage, committing crimes and getting away with it, straining our public schools and hospitals, etc. Let’s round up all the Mexicans and put them on an island! See how rediculous that sounds? Actually that sounds racist but it’s okay for us to be intolerant of Christians. That’s “in” today.

  8. The way I see it, we’re taking a stupid and prudish subset and labeling them a stupid and prudish subset. Not every Christian fits the colloquial definition of fundamentalist.

    But I think there is a sliver of logic to the island idea. If you’ve got a group of people who have got strong ideas about these things, just give them their own g-rated world. Go live happily in the world of your own making! It’s just “go do your own thing.” Of course, it was loaded with the idea that such people like to fight each other… which isn’t entirely wrong.

  9. This is strangely reminiscent of a Simpsons episode which ends with the church lady and several other women protesting Michelangelo’s David statue because it’s “naked”.
    Anyway, I can understand the kids reaction to seeing a naked statue. what I don’t understand are the parents’ who are basically encouraging and condoning their kids’ immature behavior.

  10. I think they ought to take “dirty”pictures,nude art,dirty writings!! oops didn’t mean writings since that would mean censoring the dirty stories in the bible that are kept away from the ears of those tender little people.Like the joke,Jesus said those without sin cast the first stone,rock flies hits woman,Jesus-ok mon cut that out.

  11. the lawyers will make a fortune on this one….

    Christian cults want this nation to become another faith based government like Iran.

    Demand separation of church and State in all instances.

    Tax the churches who violate the law.

  12. What do you consider the colloquial definition of “fundamentalist?” It seems that word is used today to describe the crazy, wacko extremists. To me “fundamentalist” means someone who believes in the literal interpretation of whatever inspires them. For Christians this would be the Bible. So should I assume the collective you equates all those who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible with wacko extremists? Are non-fundamentalists those who pick and choose aspects of their religion that they feel apply to contemporary society?

    Second, we assume the parent who complained is a Christian, yet the article doesn’t specify this. Are you guys so anti-religion that you assume any opinion you don’t agree with must be one made by a religious person?

    Lastly, in this particular article it’s not clear just what the kid saw. Was it a classic stone statue like David? If so, then I agree with you guys about how wrong this seems. Or was it some statue of a dude with a 20 inch penis and the teacher stopped and spent time discussing the greek fascination with the penis? It makes a difference. On the surface it seems like the parents argument was silly and the teacher being fired wrong. But let’s not just concern ourselves with the parent here. The principal and school board are at fault too if this decision was wrong, and the teacher most certainly has grounds for a lawsuit against the school and the parent.

  13. The colloquial understanding of “fundamentalist” is that of someone who is a mixture of the Biblical Pharisees and Romans. They needn’t have all–or even most–of these qualities, but they’re: literalistic, legalistic, self-righteous, hypocritical, arrogant, focusing of the word of the law rather than the spirit, confrontational, without empathy or understanding, and just in general missing the whole point of Christianity. They often keep to an isolated sub-culture which some try to impose on the greater world.

    I don’t think the literalism is necessary nor sufficient, but it is necessarily unusual when the word “literalist” is thrown around in this context. It’s important to read allegory as allegory and literal text as literal text, but they are ironically called “literalists” because their literalism isn’t proper. For example, taking the clearly poetic Genesis account for historical fact. You could say instead of just simply “literalism,” “greedy” or exaggerated literalism. One needn’t be a liberal or cherry-picker to avoid this kind of literalism.

    Of course, that’s 180 degrees from actually being a proper Christian or a fundamentalist by the proper definition. I don’t know how this came to be, but it is the way it is.

  14. this is unacceptable. this only proves that people are becoming over-sensitive to magnified issues. we can never protect children forever because it is undeniable that we are not living in protected bubbles. this is so frustrating. it’s like we’re going back to the dark ages — no, we ARE starting a darker era.

  15. Wait wait wait wait wait. Look, I’m guilty of this too but it seems like we all love taking little snippets out of the news without getting the other side of the story. A little research has found the following:

    1) It isn’t mentioned anywhere official that the complaining parent was Christian.

    2) The “nude art” in question is classical-type, not freaky modern xxx. It’s stuff like greek nude statues.

    3) She didn’t lose her job (yet)

    and most importantly:

    4) The school district (the “other side” in this case) says they aren’t disciplining her for the trip. They state ” The FISD has taken field trips to the Dallas Museum of Art for years, and will continue to do so.” (see source reference below). They maintain that it has nothing to do with the nude art she cited but it’s rather an employee performance that’s non-related.

    and there is more but I’ll stop there. Check out the school district’s response if you like:

    http://www.friscoisd.org/ (see links at upper right).

    More than meets the eye…or ear here folks and it doesn’t look like George Bush or Christianity is to blame. Sorry to dissappoint.

  16. Es casi imposible de creer. Sera que a medida que avanzamos en cultura y conocimiento nos volvemos mas estupidos respecto a la moral y la etica?

  17. I am an art teacher and I take my students to the museum every year. If any one has even opened a history book, they would see at least one nude picture. When did this world become so uptight. We are all naked under our clothes. Why should we be ashamed of what nature has given to us. This school that fired this teacher should be ashamed for firing this teacher for teaching her students about history. HAS ANYONE AT THIS SCHOOL EVER BEEN TO A MUSEUM????? Talk about uncultured. Let’s just fire all of our teachers and have our students use computers, that way they can look at nude pictures any time they want. This country has no idea how hard teachers try to give students the chance to be their own judge and to experience these kinds of things. Remember, these students are our future. Do you want this country to be run by people who have no idea about history or art history and to have no cultural experiences? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!! This is ridiculous.

  18. The anti-christian prejudiced bigots on this page who assume the one who complained was a christian apparently have never stepped foot in the Vatican museum, studied religious art, or heard of Michaelangelo. There is nothing wrong with a dignified fine are display of the human figure. I am a Catholic and my son went on a tour of the fine art museum in Austin, and saw a naked statue, and I did not freak out like you are all suggesting. I also am an artist and draw the human figure, and have books of human anatomy in my art collection. Your bigotry and stereotypes of christians is laughable! Get educated people, and don’t put your foot in your mouth before investigating the facts. It just makes you look moronic and back woods.

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