Edited By: Adedamola Aregbesola
A new debate has arisen in the United States among parents, upset by the fact that the statue of David was shown as an educational piece in schools. Typically this has been a normal practice in many countries, however laws and times are both changing together and the image of the statue has been deemed pornographic by parents of 6th graders in at Tallahassee Classical School in Florida.
The principal, Hope Carrasquilla, was forced to either resign or be fired over kids at her school being shown the David. Without permission forms signed and proper communication with the parents, which is normal practice in America if the teacher plans on showing any form of nudity in educational content, it is seen as a violation of trust. A permission form is sent home to parents, signed, and brought back into school before any content considered explicit can be shown. The kids who do not have signed permission forms go to another room while those who do, get to continue the lesson.
The principal of the Florida school seems to have more than just that one complaint against her, however, those have not been made public.
Michelangelo’s David has been considered art history for many centuries. It is a male body and an allegorical reference to the biblical story of David and Goliath.
The principal did not seem to know the exact reason she was being forced to resign, but only assumed it had something to do with the art Renaissance lesson showing works such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.”
A few parents simply wanted to know ahead of time that the lesson was being taught and were upset by the lack of communication. Only one parent deemed the statue as pornographic.
With Ron DeSantis as the governor of Florida and potential Republican Presidential Candidate for 2024, the state has been leaning toward ever more conservative values. He has been working steadily over the past several years to expand laws to prohibit teaching about sexual education and gender identity in elementary schools, such as the Don’t Say Gay bill, or, more formally, the Parental Rights in Education Act. This bill also prohibits teaching young girls about puberty and menstrual cycles before the 6th grade, despite the fact that many girls get their first cycles before then.
The politics of Florida have almost always been conservative-leaning. Public schools have typically reflected this. When the Harry Potter books and films first came out, the movies were not allowed to be watched on school premises due to the witchcraft involved in them.
The controversy remains that this is a classical school meant to teach the liberal arts more generously than the majority of other Florida schools are able to allow. School children in America typically learn about Renaissance art between the 6th to 10th grades. Hence, to have this widely known topic prohibited or in any way frowned upon is surprising.
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