September 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The masterpiece statue caused the dismissal of the school principal

A school principal in Florida was fired for… showing pornography to schoolchildren, which included the image of the statue of Michelangelo “David”.

One of the parents complained, seeing a hidden meaning in the actions of the teacher. The incident took place in a Renaissance art class where students were introduced to an iconic statue, one of the most famous in Western history.

The 5.17 m (17 ft) high statue depicts a completely naked David, a biblical character who slays the giant Goliath. The lesson given to the 11- and 12-year-olds also included references to Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

School Board Chairman Barney Bishop said last year the headmaster sent out a notice to parents that they were going to show Michelangelo’s David to students, but that didn’t happen this year. He called it a “blatant mistake” and said that “parents have a right to know at any time when their child is being taught a controversial topic and picture”:

“We are not going to show the full statue of David to the kindergartners. We’re not going to show it to second graders. Showing the whole statue of David is appropriate at a certain age.”

Two more parents said they would like to know about the topic of the lesson before it is over, writes Air Force. Tallahassee Classical School Principal Hope Carrasacilla in Florida was forced to resign. She said the school board gave her an ultimatum: resign or be fired. At the same time, according to local media, Ms. Carrasquilla did not know the reason why she was asked to resign, but believed that this was due to complaints about the lesson. The school noted that she had been principal for less than one year.

And last Thursday, Florida’s governor proposed expanding a law that would ban public schools from teaching sex education and gender identity. Teachers who break the law can be suspended or have their teaching license revoked.

A bit of history. “David” was created by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504. It was immediately hailed as a masterpiece, with the Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari saying that David “surpassed” any statue that had ever existed.

Queen Victoria donated a copy of The David to the South Kensington Museum (later the Victoria and Albert Museum) in 1857. When she first saw the statue, she was apparently so shocked by the nakedness that a fig leaf was ordered to cover her genitals. The V&A website states that the leaf was kept “ready for any royal visits when hung from the figure by two strategically placed hooks”.



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