If you ask most teachers why they became teachers, they’ll say it had nothing to do with money and everything to do with their love of teaching. Even though curriculum and rules change quickly, teachers who stay in the classroom love helping kids learn and do their best to help them.
Hope Carrasquilla, who used to be the principal of the Tallahassee Classical School in Florida, was a teacher who loved what she did. As the head of the school, Carrasquilla had to teach two classes. Carrasquilla showed a picture of Michelangelo’s “David” statue during her sixth-grade lesson on Renaissance art, which is also a school requirement.
The Tallahassee Democrat says that three parents were upset that their kids were shown the picture. Two of those parents were mostly upset that they weren’t given enough warning before the photo of the sculpture was shown. The third parent is said to have said that the statue of the Bible character was sexual.
It wasn’t just Michelangelo’s sculpture that people were upset about. It was pretty much the whole lesson, which also included “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo and “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli. These are well-known works of art that almost anyone can recognize, even if they don’t know who made them.
Carrasquilla said that there was a bit of a stir when parents were told about the lesson, which is a new policy that was just put in place two months ago. According to a source, the policy says that parents must be informed in writing two weeks prior teaching potentially controversial material.
Shortly after her lesson, Carrasquilla was called to an emergency school board meeting, where she had to choose between quitting or being fired. She left the school less than a year after she started working there because she chose to quit.
Three parents were upset about the lesson, but others were shocked when the school principal was fired. Carrie Boyd, whose children are in the third and seventh grades at the school, told the Tallahassee Democrat that she and other parents were shocked by the principal’s sudden decision to leave. Boyd was also worried about how the school seemed to be going in a “non-secular” way.
The Tallahassee Democrat says that the Tallahassee Classical School is a private charter school that has only been open for three years. It is connected to Hillsdale College, a private conservative college in Michigan. The head of the school board, Barney Bishop, said,
Parental rights are more important than anything else.
But it looks like Carrasquilla is getting more and more support online. People have a wide range of reactions, from anger to comparing it to an episode of “The Simpsons” about censorship in which the statue of “David” also appeared.
Heavens to Betsy, a body part depicted in one of the most famous pieces of art in all of history! What next?!?,
Another person said that the statue is in the video game Animal Crossing, which children play.
The most confusion seemed to come from the fact that classical art was seen as controversial enough to need parents’ permission, even though the school calls itself a “classical school” and requires Renaissance art. Renaissance art isn’t known for its detailed depictions of clothes. In fact, that’s not even true.
Surely, the fired principal will find a new job, but for now, she and the rest of the internet are both a little confused by how classical works of art are being treated.