Teacher in Texas Fired for Taking her Fifth-Grade Students to Art Museum - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-03-2006, 09:54 AM
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Museum Field Trip Deemed Too Revealing

Michael Stravato for The New York Times



Sydney McGee, a teacher in Frisco, Tex., led fifth graders through European and contemporary galleries of the Dallas Museum of Art last April.


By RALPH BLUMENTHAL

Published: September 30, 2006



FRISCO, Tex., Sept. 28 Keep the Art in Smart and Heart, Sydney McGee had posted on her Web site at Wilma Fisher Elementary School in this moneyed boomtown that is gobbling up the farm fields north of Dallas.



But Ms. McGee, 51, a popular art teacher with 28 years in the classroom, is out of a job after leading her fifth-grade classes last April through the Dallas Museum of Art. One of her students saw nude art in the museum, and after the childs parent complained, the teacher was suspended.



http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/30/ed...0f3&ei=5087%0A



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#2 Old 10-03-2006, 10:05 AM
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Michelangelo was a porn fiend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#3 Old 10-03-2006, 10:11 AM
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Question though... did the parent sign the Field Trip release form? I know our parents always had to sign those before we could go when I was in elementary school. If she signed it she has no claim.



maybe if she took the stick out of her butt she could see that its common knowledge that nude art will appear in a museum.
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#4 Old 10-03-2006, 10:27 AM
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Only in Texas would they bother suspending a teacher for this crap.
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#5 Old 10-03-2006, 12:52 PM
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How ridiculous, the school approved the trip and then they punished the teacher for taking the students.



Maybe she would have done well to send home a letter to the parents warning that their children might see nudity
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#6 Old 10-03-2006, 12:59 PM
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Not all of us in Texas are like this ......
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#7 Old 10-03-2006, 01:11 PM
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yeah... there should have been a nutidy clause in the trip consent form- and if there was and the parent signed it, there shouldnt be a problem. when i was 17 and in art college we went to see the sensation exhibition in london (complete with damien hursts sliced up cows in fermaldayde and inappropriately positioned fruits and vegetables and all sorts of stuff) and even for 17 year olds, our consent form was very clearly worded on what would be on view.



from reading the whole article, it sounds like the principle was using it as an additional tool to get rid of the teacher (amongst other issues mentioned like the wearing of flip flops and shoddy art work displays in class - lol) or that the teacher was fired for being a bad teacher and using the art mention as a lever for publicity.



how old are 5th graders anyway? 11? Wow... an eleven year old sensibilities must have been horribly shaken by the chance to sneakily perv on a nude statue without it being too socially inappropriate- cos you can stare at naked people in galleries, its allowed!



I'll assume nobody complained about any of the other things no doubt portrayed in the art on display- like the horrors of war, opression, crucifiction, etc that are common themes in art?
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#8 Old 10-03-2006, 01:12 PM
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an art teacher took her kids to an art museum. perish the thought.
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#9 Old 10-03-2006, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by troub View Post

Question though... did the parent sign the Field Trip release form? I know our parents always had to sign those before we could go when I was in elementary school. If she signed it she has no claim.



Ah, if only you actually knew what you were talking about. The parent would still have a valid complaint if there wasn't a full disclosure about the trip. Thanks for playing.



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maybe if she took the stick out of her butt she could see that its common knowledge that nude art will appear in a museum.



Not in every museum. Thanks.
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#10 Old 10-03-2006, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

Actually, the parent needs to take some responsibility into inquiring about any concerns they have before hand. The permission slip is to inform the parents of where and when the students will be going on this trip. If the parent signs the form, they are saying my child has permission to go to this place an engage in the activities therein. If a parent does not know what the trip will entail - - in this case has not been to the museum, they should have gotten up, gone to the phone, dialed the number that was surely printed on the school's letter head that most districts require permission slips to be printed upon, and asked someone at the school. I've yet to see a permission slip that has "full disclosure" of every, single thing kids will see and do on a trip. It's assumed that a parent would have enough interest to do the minimal amount of research to know where the hell their kid was being sent if not already familiar with a planned activity. In fact, many school districts have lists of approved field trip sites with the district and information available to the parents in a central location. In short, if you don't know what you are signing to . . . you shouldn't sign it. If you do, well, you take the responsibility.



It is not assumed that 5th graders will be exposed to nudity in any context.



So no, the parent does not wave that right when signing the form. It certainly helps if you know what you are talking about, rather than engaging in a knee-jerk defense of a teacher.



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No, but most of the ones that are probably worth taking a field trip to have pieces from a variety of eras, including the classical era in which the human form was idolized.



Wow. Proof? Source?
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#11 Old 10-03-2006, 07:17 PM
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if I was a parent, i would research any place before signing a permission slip. wouldn't that be prudent?
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#12 Old 10-03-2006, 07:30 PM
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if I was a parent, i would research any place before signing a permission slip. wouldn't that be prudent?





Not really, no. Most parents assume that field trip to a museum would be age appropriate. Any teacher and school system with some sense would notify parents of anything that would be age inappropriate.
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#13 Old 10-03-2006, 07:37 PM
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hmm. obviously I have no experience with children in the school system, but wouldn't it be the parents who decide whats appropriate for what age?



for example, my parents are from Europe, and could care less if I saw nude artwork no matter what age. other parents may not agree, but if the school splits the difference (choosing whats appropriate for most students)I would think it's up to the parents to ask questions.



BTW, is it the teacher alone who decided on the trip? i would think the school would have to approve, and in that case the suspension seems a bit unfair.
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#14 Old 10-03-2006, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by purrpelle View Post

hmm. obviously I have no experience with children in the school system, but wouldn't it be the parents who decide whats appropriate for what age?



Certain things are pretty standard. Schools should not be exposing children to something which they know can be against the standards of many families. The school can decide the museum is appropriate, but should be prudent and let the parents know what to expect.



Quote:

for example, my parents are from Europe, and could care less if I saw nude artwork no matter what age. other parents may not agree, but if the school splits the difference (choosing whats appropriate for most students)I would think it's up to the parents to ask questions.



It's a little ridiculous to expect parents to play Sherlock Holmes when the school can simply let them know.



Quote:

BTW, is it the teacher alone who decided on the trip? i would think the school would have to approve, and in that case the suspension seems a bit unfair.



My guess? The teacher new about the nude exhibits, and didn't tell the school. As taking children to said exhibit without explicit permission from the parents would be a no-no, then the teacher gets rewarded with some extra vacation time. Unpaid, of course.
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#15 Old 10-03-2006, 07:47 PM
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now that i think about it, how many parents actually ask about what they are signing to on the form? my guess would be that most assume that the school approved the trip and is appropriate.



out of curiosity, at what age (for the general population) do you feel it's appropriate to introduce that kind of art?
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#16 Old 10-03-2006, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

the placement of nudes in say, the Air and Space Museum

The bathroom?

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#17 Old 10-03-2006, 08:31 PM
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Hello?!?!



Art. Contains. Nude. Humans.



We're not talking "Hustler" here.



Unbelievably scary times!
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#18 Old 10-03-2006, 08:37 PM
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not that this is typical, but i was kissing boys at age 12. (and look how sweet i turned out )i certainly knew who had what and what it looked like.while i do believe that the museum was age appropriate i guess the real question is how much parents are willing to trust the school system.
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#19 Old 10-03-2006, 08:44 PM
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Wow. You use a lot of words to say very little.



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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

Really? That's assumed? Wow. I guess I'll have to tell my school district to remove the Tampa Museum, the Dali (now, there's some nudes!), the St. Petersburg Museum of Art, and other major cultural centrers and galleries from their approved list of field trips for students in grade 5.



And how often does your school take 5th graders to see nude exhvibits without notifying the parents?



Quote:
Also, I'll have to have them take all the books on Da Vinci, who studied the human form intensely not only out of my art books, but, further, the Science text as well.



Which has what to do with the topic?



Quote:
OH! I almost forgot, the unit on Human Growth and Development (which, by the way, has a permission slip that does not include, "full disclosure" as you put it and doesn't mention nudity at all) in which genitalia is displayed in full color via projection in my classroom, will have to be rethought as well. Because it's assumed. Not because it aligns with the standards.



hhhmmm...wonder why they have the permission slip for sexual education? Could it be because of the material covered?

I love how you intentionally try to misconstrue my point about full disclosure, when in fact, you prove my point.

Art musuem = no reasonable assumption of nudity being presented to 5th graders



Class on growth and development = reasonable expectation that genitalia and so forth will be discussed



See the difference?



Quote:

These are Texas' state standards for the arts:

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac...7a.html#117.17

If you scroll down to grade 5, you'll see that it is mandatory that students be exposed to different genres (or styles if you prefer) of are from different areas. While this does not necessarily mandate classical nudes, it most certainly does not mandate othewise.



Again, you provide a lot of words, but then say nothing. The issue is about educational standards. A reasonable assumption of parents is that 10-year olds will not be exposed to nudity without prior warning to the parents, hence, the permission slips for sex education. Art curriculum is not the issue.



Quote:

I would think, to some degree, that a teacher not willing to expose students to this most sweeping subject matter and cultivating a mature appreciation would be in some ways neglecting their duties to educate the children about the arts to their fullest. Hence, the nude for them will always be some half-naked, gyrating rap-video extra and not the un-sexed, perfect form of Aphrodite. Of course, 5th grade is not the last stop on the train to pick up this sort of appreciation. I suppose that cheerful, fully-clothed crafts lessons until high school won't permanently damage a young soul, but why take that risk when there is so much to be seen, appreciated, and understood?



Then tell the parents what is being offered, and let them decide. I don't believe that children will suffer from not seeing certain exhibits, and in trying to sound educated, all you did was garble whatever point you were trying to make.



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You see, I'm not rushing to anyone's defense. I'm presenting what I know as someone who used to teach art, still teaches, and probably has a great deal more familiarity with the law associated therein and common practice than yourself.



Um, no. You provided no evidence that you understand the law, and in fact, you made my case for me with your really sad attempt at discrediting my point about disclosure.



Quote:

You need proof that probably most worth-wild museums have art work from various eras including the classical era? Well, I said probably because I have yet to conduct a survey of all states and the museums therein. However, if we look at the major museums in the United States that are, in fact, Fine Arts museums (because I assume we are comparing apples-to-apples and not, say, questioning me as to the placement of nudes in say, the Air and Space Museum because unless there are some very kinky astronauts I believe you will not find them there), there are nudes. Even in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, there are nudes. Can you think for me of a fine arts museum with a permanent collection in the United States without them? Now, think about it. Would it be worth going to?



That isn't what you said. You said any art museum worth visiting would have nudes. Prove it. That means any art museum, any, that has educational value must have nudes.

You made the positive assertion. Back it up.



Funny, reading your posts always reminds me of a little tidbit I encountered while in college. The major with most often the lowest GPA and/or test scores for incoming freshman? Yup. Education.
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#20 Old 10-03-2006, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Guacivore View Post

Hello?!?!



Art. Contains. Nude. Humans.



We're not talking "Hustler" here.



Unbelievably scary times!





All art does? Every bit of it?
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#21 Old 10-03-2006, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by purrpelle View Post

while i do believe that the museum was age appropriate i guess the real question is how much parents are willing to trust the school system.





I guess my question is why a teacher thinks she knows better than the parents, and intentionally withholds information in her possession from them.



Threads like these make me happier with our choice of private school.
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#22 Old 10-03-2006, 08:50 PM
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more importantly, who do we think is the father of Anna Nicole's baby?





























J/K!
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#23 Old 10-03-2006, 08:51 PM
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All art does? Every bit of it?



Yep. Every last little bit.



And every sentence represents an absolute. Every last one.



Yep yep yep.
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#24 Old 10-03-2006, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post


No, but most of the ones that are probably worth taking a field trip to have pieces from a variety of eras, including the classical era in which the human form was idolized.



Do you mean the classical period (greek) or the neo-classical period (following rococo and corresponding to the classical period in music). I don't agree with you either way, but I'd like to know which response to make.
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#25 Old 10-03-2006, 08:59 PM
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Yep. Every last little bit.



And every sentence represents an absolute. Every last one.



Yep yep yep.



If you don't post in absolutes, you won't get called on it. It's rather simple.
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#26 Old 10-03-2006, 09:06 PM
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My school didn't assign grades, but it is one of the most selective in the nation.



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#27 Old 10-03-2006, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

Tame, I actually majored in Humanities with a specific concentration in Art. I had a very high GPA entering college. My school didn't assign grades, but it is one of the most selective in the nation. It worked off of a pass-fail system of academic contracts. Number of contracts I failed? Zero.



Goody-goody gumdrops for you.

I lump humanites majors with education majors.



Quote:

In short, the permission slip for Human Growth and Development does not say it's a sexual education class. It doesn't mention nudity at all in the permission slip. If it's okay to assume from this classes' title, I see that it's similarly okay to assume this major museum would have nudes possibly. If the parent gave a darn, they would have researched it ahead of time. It's not playing Sherlock Holmes to make a phone call and get *gasp* involved in your child's education or to *gasp again* be personally responsible for fully understanding what you sign.



People know what Human Growth and Development classes are. There is a reasonable assumption that sex, genitalia, and so forth will becovered. hence, the permission slip. (And sunshine, your school uses one for a reason.)

Should parents reasonable assume that the museum tour selected for their 10-year old will include nudity? I would say not.

Even if so, why would the teacher not take the time to mention the matter, as a parent could reasonably not expect nudity to be an issue? If the parent should know nudity is a possibility, shouldn't the teacher as well? Why not avoid potential problems?

Obviously she did violate school policy, thus, a suspension.



Quote:

As for the comment on major museums, that is what I said and I won't fall into your trap of twisting, or, perhaps misunderstanding, my words.

You accuse me of using big words to try and sound educated. Perhaps the issue it that I am educated in this subject, and you are not. Hence, these "big words" are difficult for your to understand.



No, my point is you try, you try, yet fail.



Quote:

Furthermore, how often does my school expose students to nudes?

Well, the Da Vinci diagrams you questioned are nudes. Also, our 5th graders visit the Dali every year.



The Da Vinci diagrams are not the nudes that concern most parents. I seriously doubt your school takes 10-year olds on full museum tours. of course, you also thought teachers were the majority population in Florida and could swing any election on their own.
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#28 Old 10-03-2006, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

Did I stutter? CLASSICAL. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Era

And, I find it hard to believe that you'd disagree that most worth-wild field-tripesque museums would not have nudes of the classical period. I'm curious, too, as to what exactly your qualifications are for determining what museums would be good art field trip museums. I mean, are you an art teacher? Extensive study in art education? Perhaps you are a curriculum writer for a school district or maybe of national-level working in any facet of art education even remotely?



I have a year of art history, which I'm guessing is the same as you.



I disagree that the classical period idolized the human form and also that all art museums have pieces from that period. Many collections are specific to certain periods, for example.
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#29 Old 10-03-2006, 09:23 PM
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OK I know this is petty but you've used it twice now so... it's "worthwhile" not "worth-wild".



Anyway... continue...
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#30 Old 10-03-2006, 09:24 PM
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Did I stutter?



The 80s called, they want their urban slang back.
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