Thursday, October 05, 2006

Meet Sydney McGee

Sydney McGee is an award-winning art teacher in the Wilma Fisher Elementary School in Frisco, Texas. She has almost 30 years of experience educating children. Last April, she took her fifth-graders to the Dallas Museum of Art. She thought this would be a treat for the kids, to be exposed to one of the nation's finest museum collections of art. But horror of horrors, one of the students saw a nude sculpture. The following day, the principal of the school, Nancy Lawson, wagged her finger at McGee, scolding her for exposing the children to naked pictures. (Lawson had urged McGee to take the kids on a field trip in the first place.)

Guess what? McGee has been told her contract would not be renewed.

The Dallas Museum of Art has a world-class collection. McGee's focus was on the European Collection, a sample of which you can view here. Over a half million children have visited the museum, including students from other Frisco schools; over a ten year period, there has not been one complaint from a parent about children seeing "naked" pictures or sculpture.

"We're not talking about an exhibit of salacious, sexually charged photos by Robert Mapplethorpe or Richard Hamilton; the art in question includes such work as a marble torso of a Greek youth from around 300 B.C. and a sculpture by Auguste Rodin," writes Richard Roeper in today's Chicago Sun-Times.

But McGee is fired; the school district contends it is over lesson planning and other administrative gaffes. Meanwhile, Dennis Hastert (R-IL) blames Democrats and ABC News for fanning the flames over the sex scandal involving former Congressman Mark Foley and the teenage Congressional pages. Foley, a pedophile, is called a victim of his childhood, and an award-winning teacher is fired.

What is wrong with this picture?


Frederick said...

The sick part is that the Principal was the one who encouraged her to go in the first place.

enigma4ever said...

Really really sick and sad...unreal.
What kind of times are we living in....

Helen Wheels said...

Argh!! Frisco Texas is where I-Smella-Chimpanzee is from! That sure explains a lot... the town is probably rife with Sassies. Maybe it was even his kid who complained! It wouldn't surprise me.

Poor McGee. She ought to move to Austin, where there's at least a good crop of progressives.

Tina said...

OMFG... my head is going to explode. My all time fav artist is Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I have 6 reprints of his in my home, and if you were to enter my home, I prominently display a gorgeous reprint of his breathtakingly beautiful (and very nude) 'Venus Verticordia'. BabyGirl is at the age now where she is noticing nakedness and it makes her giggle, although Hubby and I still make no big deal about her seeing us naked and vice versa. We think doing otherwise makes a kid think nakedness is bad or shameful. We have had multiple discussions about that very painting and if you were to ask BabyGirl what does she think about the naked Venus in her foyer, she would tell you that she is beautiful and naked-- just as we are when we are born. These people are such fucking idiots... they make me so sick.

betmo said...

republican values at work.

DivaJood said...

Frederick, the sick part is that she got fired. It just makes me furious.

E4E, this kind of thinking (or LACK of thinking) is what led Germany to blindly follow Hitler.

Helen, you're kidding me! Sassy is from Frisco? Fucking A~! No wonder McGee got canned. She needs to move.

Tina, clearly, you are corrupting a minor. Let's call the neo-con Art Police out.

Betmo, that's an oxymoron if I ever heard one!

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

You missed the point. The woman wore FLIP FLOPS to school. How gauche. Off with her head! Oh, maybe the FLIP FLOPS were a politcal statement against Kerry, quick hire her back.

Seriously, this is the saddest most gut wrenching part of our society. They are going after the liberal professors and the artists. I smell Mao Tse-Tung.

DivaJood said...

Pursey, of course. It was the FLIP FLOPS that did her in. Being a Diva, you would think I know about footwear.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

She is not the first - nor, unfortunately will she be the last. Declaring beauty to be ugly is a hallmark of the evangelical movement. Remember – Ashcroft covered Justice Department statuary because he found the nakedness obscene. Interesting that those statues represented truth and justice – isn’t it? And the self-same people who insisted on firing this teacher are now falling over themselves to excuse Foley and his perversions. Here's what Dobson had to say about it:

As it turns out, Mr. Foley has had illicit sex with no one that we know of, and the whole thing turned out to be what some people are now saying was a — sort of a joke by the boy and some of the other pages … By midafternoon yesterday, a rumor emerged that in fact Mark Foley had been pranked by the House pages. It is the first plausible thing I've heard in seven days.

This from a so-called ‘man of god’. I am reminded that the Taliban destroyed everything in Afghanistan that they considered blasphemous – up to and including a remarkable series of Buddhist statuary considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. How far away are we from that sort of insanity?

DivaJood said...

TFLS, I'm appalled at this Dobson remark - it is pure insanity to even suggest that the House pages were pulling a school-boy prank.

Yes, Ashcroft covered statuary like an idiot; and the Taliban destroyed everything in sight; and we are not that far behind. Book burnings, our own version of Kristalnacht will ensue.

But Pursey Tutweiler had a point about McGee's flip flops.

Anonymous said...

I side with the teacher. Look at the school website---One black teacher (and she may not be a teacher she may be the cook) and SHE IS IN THE BACK OF THE PHOTO! The entire staff appears to be white female. Yikes. That is a recipe for disaster.

Pay the teacher, let her go elsewhere and cut your losses School Board. Regardless of the professional development issues that place appears very close minded and reeks of white women with power issues. Looks like a Peyton Place group. McGee was probably too hippy and looked to artsy.
This is a simple issue of "she doesn't look like one of us so she has to go."