Friday, October 06, 2006

The Penalty of Teaching

I like reading articles on the net. I try to link to them when I can because they strengthen arguements. I have written long posts describing the articles, but if you have noticed I am trying to refrain from it. Only a synopsis is needed and you can click on the article for further reading.

A teacher in Texas had taken her students on a field trip to an art museum. She was not the only teacher chaperoning the students nor was it the first time the musuem had a students walk through as part of a school activity. The problem occurred after the field trip, when a student had told their parents that they had seen some nudity. Outcries from some rang out, and now the teacher who had led the field trip is suspended.
What makes this case more fascinating is that the school officials along with the parents had to give permission for the teacher to take the students on the field trip. An art museum is an art museum. Sometimes there is nudity in art, the art museum does not seperate art with nudity in to a room with a black curtain and black lights. For the art community, nudity is a wonderful gift that helps express nature's beauty or whatever else the artist finds the use of nudity for. But for a teacher to receive a suspension for taking students to an art museum is absurd. The art teacher is only doing her duty as a teacher, introducing the students to the world of art. Are we to have a seperate room for art that depicts climates of war and famine?
In this case, the parents had allowed their children to attend the field trip to the museum. If they had felt that their children's views were compromised they should have politely declined the invitation and kept their children at home for the day. The school officials had given permission to the teacher to hold the field trip at the art museum. The guilty party is not the teacher who had led the field trip, but the parents and the school officials who feel that students should not be allowed to view the artistic material. Next parents will claim that the "School House Rock" videos are damaging their children's minds by showing an image of a talking bill. Art is art. There is nudity in religious art; is the Sistine Chapel to lose its ceiling due to its exposure of Adam? For this, I say let the parents attack my freedom of speech through the blogosphere and I shall include the photo of the Sistine Chapel on the Creation of Adam.

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