Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Ashcroft Legacy 

Liberal types can rant and rave all they want, but is there really any difference between Texas teacher Sydney McGee, who encouraged a group of fifth-graders to appreciate the stylized bronze cock on Rodin's "Shade," and former Rep. Mark Foley (R - FL), who encouraged a group of teenaged congressional pages to appreciate the real McCoy? From the NYT, via Zemblan patriot J.D.:
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 child’s parent complained, the teacher was suspended.

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 . . . .

Over the past decade, more than half a million students, including about a thousand from other Frisco schools, have toured the museum’s collection of 26,000 works spanning 5,000 years, he said, “without a single complaint.” One school recently did cancel a scheduled visit, he said. He did not have its name.

The uproar has swamped Frisco school switchboards and prompted some Dallas-area television stations to broadcast images of statues from the museum with areas of the anatomy blacked out.

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