Dallas art teacher sacked after students see nude boy, woman 5

In yet another example of bluenoses running amuck in the heartland, a Dallas art teacher has lost her job after taking her fifth graders to the Dallas Museum of Art. One of the pieces of Greek funerary figureart the kids saw was this funerary figure of an athlete cut down in the prime of his youth, ca. 330 BCE.

You will note that, with the exception of his missing head and left arm, the boy is anatomically correct. The children saw other nudes at the museum, as well. Apparently, one of the children complained to a parent, who complained to Sydney McGee’s boss, who suspended her pending administrative review.

One doubts the parent or administrator took the time to actually view the piece in question, which has not been named.

McGee, 51, is an award-winning, popular teacher at her school, The Wilma Fisher Elementary School north of Dallas. While she has apparently had some minor run-ins with her principal, McGee seems to be a responsible, dedicated teacher who wants to expose (no pun intended!) her students to our rich cultural heritage.

It’s a heritage that includes accurate depictions of the nude human figure, which Greek sculptors celebrated in countless examples, and which Roman and Renaissance sculptors, among others, imitated.

According to this New York Times article, the children also saw Auguste Rodin’s tormented nude, Shade, at right, and Aristide Maillol’s alluring Flora, at left. Shade by Rodin

Flora by MaillolHere’s my re-creation of the conversation between parent and 10-year-old child that may have started this incredible story.

Parent: How was the field trip today, dear?

Child: OK, I guess.

Parent: What did you see?

Child: We saw a naked boy with no head and girl with a wet dress on. You could see her boobies.

Parent: A what? And a what? Her what?

Child: It was cool. There was other stuff, but it was boring. Can I go play video games now?

Now, I imagine the parent in question immediately picked up the phone, or perhaps waited until morning, to holler at the school’s principal for scarring that poor child for life by showing him or her graphic images of mutilated boys and participants in a local Dallas wet T-shirt contest. The principal might be one of those administrators who avoid controversy like the plague, and probably promised said irate parent immediate disciplining of the depraved teacher who forced such pornographic materials on the fifth graders.

Now we can yet another local school to our collection of communities to mock for their idiocy and teachers to praise for their dedication to their craft. It’s too bad the former so many times renders the latter ineffectual.

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5 thoughts on “Dallas art teacher sacked after students see nude boy, woman

  1. Reply wheatdogg Oct 1,2006 9:47 am

    There are two main classes of principals: (1) Teachers who managed not to rock the boat too much, developed their inner bureaucrat, and worked their out of the classroom into administrative jobs. (2) Teachers who were really good at their jobs, but who saw they could have a broader impact on students if they could run the school. These principals tend to keep on rocking the boat.

    McGee’s boss falls into the first class, which is by far the larger.

    Principals, BTW, make substantially more than teachers in the US, so there are powerful economic motivations to become a principal.

  2. Reply N. Rivers Oct 2,2006 9:20 pm

    That penis is too small to be offensive, they should leave her alone.

  3. Reply Near Frisco Parent Oct 7,2006 10:28 pm

    Unfortunately, leaving her alone means her job of 28 years is gone, along with her meager paycheck and her health insurance.

    They need to suck it up, admit they are back-woods hicks and apologize to her and give her job back.

  4. Reply paul Oct 10,2006 8:11 am

    Hi I’m from Holland.
    I can’t believe things like these are happening in your country. Everybody is nude sometimes, right? We were born without clothes! People who are afraid of nudity are still living in the dark middleages, afraid that God will punish them for some reason. For what? For watching an image of God’s own creations??
    Come on people, this is not Afghanistan!

  5. Reply wheatdogg Oct 10,2006 8:23 pm

    Paul —

    Europeans are pretty relaxed about nudity, even the Brits, but here in the States many people associate nudity with sexuality. Broadcast TV is carefully monitored for any exposure of people’s “naughty bits,” thus the furor a couple of years back about Janet Jackson’s bare breast appearing for a split second during the Superbowl broadcast. Only the most dedicated (or curious) of viewers would have glimpsed her boob, by reviewing the scene on his TiVo or VCR, yet federal regulators hammered the network with an astronomically high fine. Something about protecting our children and other viewers from “objectionable” material …

    Honestly, I cannot explain it. Americans, especially those in rural areas, are incredibly intolerant of any nudity, anywhere. One wonders how children are produced in such towns.

    What dismays me more is the apparent confusion between nudity intended to titillate or arouse sexual feelings (like porno, wet T-shirt contests, and men’s magazines) and nudity intended to celebrate the human form and explore the artistic aspects of rendering the body. Art museums are not adult video stores, for god’s sakes.

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