Art School So Not Confidential
So, over the weekend The New York Times took notice of Frisco elementary school teacher Sydney McGee--you remember (head hanging in shame), the Wilma Fisher Elementary School art teacher suspended September 22 for taking fifth-graders to the Dallas Museum of Art, where one lousy kid saw some nude sculptures. Well, today news of the 28-year teaching vet McGee's troubles has spread to Salon, where Rebecca Traister refers to the incident as "Roll-back of the Enlightenment, chapter 47." Ladies and gents, please rise and offer a round of applause for Fisher Elementary's principal, Nancy Lawson.
For those needing a summary of the incident, McGee took some kids to the DMA in April, where some kid saw some nudie art and told his or her folks, who then told Lawson, who then called McGee into the office and gave her a right bashing, says McGee. Lawson gave McGee a nasty note in which she was chastized for taking impressionable young minds to the DMA, where students were "exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations." Once Lawson realized maybe people thougth she was being a little, dunno, outrageously ignorant, she made up other reasons for axing McGee (for wearing flip-flops, heathen). Lawson and the FISD, which seems more than a little a little FUCD, won't let McGee transfer to another school, and, as Traister notes, her contract will not be renewed at the end of the school year.
Writes Traister, and the italics are hers:
Among the statuary along the museum route down which McGee and her students strolled was Rodin's "The Shade," Jean Arp's "Star in a Dream," and the torso of young Greek man from a 330 B.C. funerary relief. There is no word on which sculpture forever sullied young students' eyes, but McGee told the Times that principal Lawson referred to the offending work as "an abstract nude sculpture."
For some reason what struck me as particularly sad and sick about this story is the fact that when airing segments about this story, some local Dallas news stations have broadcast images of the potentially offensive art with certain anatomical areas blacked out.
Apparently, not a lot of art history students running the local Dallas news departments. Ba-dum-bum.
Pride, people. That's what you're tasting. Pride. --Robert Wilonsky
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