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Art Teacher Shows Kids Extremely Expensive Porn


Girl Reading Hustler, Unknown American Sculptor

Let me just float a guess that it wasn't a member of the Dallas atheists' alliance who complained that a teacher took her fifth grade class to the art museum. Yes, a popular art teacher, with 28 years in the classroom, got suspended after some kid complained to Mommy about the...gasp...nudity in the museum.

No, it wasn't an exhibition of Jenna Jameson's latest films, but Maillol's "Flora"


and Rodin's "Shade,"

among others. Wow, huh? A little, shall we say, less animated and explicit than what they're shooting in the Valley these days. Ralph Blumenthal writes for The New York Times:

Although the tour had been approved by the principal, and the 89 students were accompanied by 4 other teachers, at least 12 parents and a museum docent, Ms. McGee said, she was called to the principal the next day and “bashed.”

She later received a memorandum in which the principal, Nancy Lawson, wrote: “During a study trip that you planned for fifth graders, students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations.” It cited additional complaints, which Ms. McGee has challenged.

The school board suspended her with pay on Sept. 22.

In a newsletter e-mailed to parents this week, the principal and Rick Reedy, superintendent of the Frisco Independent School District, said that Ms. McGee had been denied transfer to another school in the district, that her annual contract would not be renewed and that a replacement had been interviewed.

The episode has dumbfounded and exasperated many in and out of this mushrooming exurb, where nearly two dozen new schools have been built in the last decade and computers outnumber students three to one.

A representative of the Texas State Teachers Association, which has sprung to Ms. McGee’s defense, calls it “the first ‘nudity-in-a-museum case’ we have seen.”

“Teachers get in trouble for a variety of reasons,” said the association’s general counsel, Kevin Lungwitz, “but I’ve never heard of a teacher getting in trouble for taking her kiddoes on an approved trip to an art museum.”

John R. Lane, director of the museum, said he had no information on why Ms. McGee had been disciplined.

“I think you can walk into the Dallas Museum of Art and see nothing that would cause concern,” Mr. Lane said.

For thousands of years, women walked around with their tits hanging out, and nobody went psycho because of it. Here's a woman who sounds like one of those teachers you remember years later for being a big influence on you; yet, she sounds dangerously close to being canned...all because Johnny saw a glimpse of boob.

You know, they have exposed titties all over the damn place in France -- a particularly nice collection of Maillol's sculpted hooters reside in the Jardin des Tuilleries -- and France isn't awash in serial killers and sex offenders because of it. Yeah, okay, they may be a bunch of chain-smoking commies over there, but at least they don't get apoplectic over classic nudes.

New York City Man Disapppointed By Penis Pump Claims Vs. Reality.
Probably Sculpted By Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Posted by aalkon at October 6, 2006 1:10 PM

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The Catholic cathedrals in Spain have many depictions of Mary nursing the infant Jesus. Yes, bare breast in a religious painting!

A drama teacher in an Ozark high school was canned last year for leading a production of "The Crucible". The Taliban mentality is taking over.

Posted by: Ruth at October 6, 2006 3:54 AM

It would be interesting to see what the complaints actually said. Amy, could you find out under Freedom of Information?

Posted by: Norman at October 6, 2006 4:10 AM

Good freaking god. This is so wrong. I hope she fights this, for the sake of those poor kids whose parents complain when they see art.

Posted by: Melissa at October 6, 2006 7:51 AM

Unfortunately, Norman, FOIA requests only apply to federal, not state, information. Recently, I believe in the Raleigh-Durham paper, they had a disclaimer about "nudity" within the paper's pages (a picture of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, I think). Saw it on Romenesko. Horrifying. Yep, here's a link:

ADVISORY TO READERS Today’s Life, etc. section includes a photo of a famous fresco by Michelangelo that includes nudity.

Yes, you can see it in church, but you can't see it in the paper without a porn warning.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 6, 2006 8:07 AM

Scapegoat. Shit rolls downhill and the principal needed a diversion. That the school board bought it says all I need to know about the median intelligence of the supervisory authority.
All over a tempest in a teapot.

Posted by: opit at October 6, 2006 8:19 AM

If this is true, then yes, it's very, very stupid. But keep in mind that the sole source for these stories is the teacher who got fired. Is it possible that she was fired for some other reason, maybe legitimate, maybe not, and then made up the museum trip story to muster nation-wide support for her reinstatement? Usually, for all their narrow-mindedness, the overly puritan take pride in their actions, but the school is not doing that. These days we shouldn't take everything we read as gospel. So to speak...

Posted by: Jon Tyken at October 6, 2006 8:23 AM

That's actually not true, John, about the sourcing. For example, from the story:

She later received a memorandum in which the principal, Nancy Lawson, wrote: “During a study trip that you planned for fifth graders, students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations.”

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 6, 2006 8:36 AM

In a lot of workplaces, it's very difficult to fire someone. This is in some ways a good thing. It just seems possible that the principal was documenting every complaint against this teacher, who had other problems, and that the teacher took that one ludicrous complaint (and again, I wholly agree that the parent who complained is the worst type of small-minded idiot) and is making it seem that it is the sole reason she was fired. The school, as it should, is not taking its personnel matters to the press.

It's possible the story is true and its another horrible example of life in George Bush's America. But I just think that it's also possible that things aren't always what they seem.

Posted by: Jon Tyken at October 6, 2006 11:44 AM

Funny story. Let's not forget that many great works of art were intended to be (and still are) erotic. The two are not mutally exclusive. It is also a parent's right to decide the degree to which they want their children exposed to erotica. Some parents may have a zero tolerance policy, others may be more open. It sure would be nice if you and your readers were tolerant of other people's choices rather than condemning them for exercising their right of free speech and legal control over their children.

Also thank you Pajamas Media. I would never encounter these screeds of intolerance if it were not for your editorial open mindedness.

Posted by: Alex at October 6, 2006 11:53 AM

Alex- I think the parents still have to sign permission slips, and anyone who has ever been to any museum knows that tasteful nudity will be involved. If they signed a permission slip, then they have no right to complain. Being tolerant doesn't include tolerating intolerance. (Thanks Bill Maher for that quote.)

Imagine growing up and never having seen what the other sex looks like!

Posted by: eric at October 6, 2006 1:36 PM

> anyone who has ever been to any museum
> knows that tasteful nudity will be involved

Why are people so fascinated with "taste"?

Posted by: Crid at October 6, 2006 9:07 PM

I should get my fifth grade teacher fired, then. She took us to a trip of the Bennington Museum (Vermont), and by the entrance, they had a statue of Abraham Lincoln placing a benevolent hand on the head of a naked boy who stands before him.

Posted by: Patrick at October 6, 2006 11:39 PM

Just a word Crid. I have an Edith Vonnegutt painting of a naked woman vacuuming the staircase in my dining room....

Posted by: eric at October 7, 2006 8:17 AM

Alex, nudity is harmful to children why, exactly?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 7, 2006 8:21 AM

There's a public park in Oslo filled with nude statues, all by the same artist. It's quite mind-blowing. They're all doing things - crouching, running, stretching, etc - and they're all ages from bawling babies to geriatrics. Every one is nude. The centrepiece is a great pillar whose surface is covered with bodies, all tangled up. Good image at

As I said, it's a public park; there's no attempt at hiding it away, quite the opposite in fact.

Posted by: Norman at October 7, 2006 10:37 AM

Just remembered- when I was growing up in Orange County back in the early 70's, we took an annual elementary school fieldtrip to Knott's Berry Farm, and the best part then was the Old Ghost Town. The place was full of images of protitution and the occult, but nobody much seemed to mind back then.... We also went to Granny Goose potato chip factory- but back then there was only a couple obese kids in the whole school.

Posted by: eric at October 7, 2006 10:41 AM

Yup, that sounds like Texas.

I weep for the nation if this crap keeps happening.

Posted by: Peggy Archer at October 7, 2006 10:51 AM

> I have an Edith Vonnegutt painting
> of a naked woman vacuuming

Every time we bicker, I love you a little more.

Posted by: Crid at October 7, 2006 12:03 PM

Heh. Amy, nudity is harmful to children because they wilkl then learn to tell when the Emperor has no clothes...

Posted by: Radwaste at October 8, 2006 8:46 AM

Perfect, Rad.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 8, 2006 9:00 AM

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