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October 14, 2006


John  Powers

You ask: "Are we truly this puritan still in this day and age?" and then answer: "Apparently so!"

I'm not so sure the answer follows so neatly, even the superintendent and principal deny it: "No teacher’s job status, however, would be jeopardized based on students’ incidental viewing of nude art."

Consistent "superior" job evaluations until the incident suggest something else in play. And the reasons put forth as the real reasons hardly seem terminating offenses.

What's really up doesn't seem easily discerned. A few things I'd like to know:

How many more years of teaching did Ms. McGee need until she was eligible for a full retirement?

Was the principal aware of Ms. McGee's heart condition?

Is the replacement teacher associated by relation, religious affiliation, or personal relationships with the superintendent, principal, school board members, or other school management?

Is either the principal or superintendent involved sexually with the replacement teacher?

Does the replacement teacher have a full license to teach art?

Is the school board dominated by members from a far-right political and ideological stance?

What is the superintendent's plan to make up budget shortfalls as a result of high transportation fuel costs?

Enquiring minds want to know. Okay, I'm sure I never will. My hunch this flap is one of three things, or a combination of them:

Personal animus against Ms. McGee held by the superintendent, principal or board member.

Financial reasons, perhaps to do away with the art program or to get a teacher with an expensive health problem off the payroll.

A political motive, perhaps to trot out the "culture war" following the script of the NEA flap during the first Bush administration, following the script of "bigotry against Evangelical Christians."

Corey Wheat

I read about this story a few months back, and had a short post on my blog, and have been following along as much as possible. The story truly makes me sick to my stomach. How can you possibly hope to have a well rounded child, if the parents are so close minded that they can not sit down with their children and discuss the beauty of art and the art of the human body. Creativity and emotion are intertwined to form art, and to fully let a child experince both, the child must have the opprotunity to have open minds. So, here is my tidbit to the parents. Open your mind and shut your mouth. Art is something you fell made into something you see.

Andrew Pass

Christian, I'd like to know what other charges were levied in the letter sent to the teacher. I can only imagine that the school was looking for a reason to get rid of this individual and the nudity seemed a good cause. I do hope that the union is able to successfully defend this teacher from discipline as a result of a student viewing art in a museum. Whether or not this teacher belongs in the classroom is another question which I have absolutely no data to address.

Andrew Pass

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