Florida principal forced to resign after showing students Michelangelo's 'David' statue
One parent complained that the image of Michaelangelo's 'David' statue was pornographic
A school principal in Tallahassee, Florida was forced to resign after parents complained about a Renaissance art lesson that showed students Michelangelo's sculpture of the Bible's David.
Tallahassee Classical School Principal Hope Carrasquilla stepped down Monday during an emergency school board meeting after only a year, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Barney Bishop, the school board's chair, reportedly gave Carrasquilla an ultimatum, telling her could either quit or be fired.
Carrasquilla believes she was forced to resign because of the art lesson that featured Michelangelo's "David" sculpture. Bishop declined to say why he asked her to resign at the advice of the school’s employment lawyer, according to the Talahassee Democrat.
"It saddens me that my time here had to end this way," Carrasquilla said.
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Three parents reportedly complained that the lesson’s content that included Michelangelo’s marble statue of a nude "David," upset their children. Two of the three parents said they wished they had been notified of the lesson beforehand, while the third parent called the lesson pornographic, according to Carrasquilla.
A new rule at the school requires parents be notified two weeks before teaching "potentially controversial" curriculum, allowing them time to review the material Bishop told the Tallahassee Democrat.
"Parental rights are supreme, and that means protecting the interests of all parents, whether its one, 10, 20 or 50," he said.
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Carrasquilla said a letter should have been sent to parents notifying them of the art lesson, but there was a breakdown in communication which meant parents were not properly notified.
Michelangelo's "David" is one of thea artist's most recognizable works, and is currently displayed at the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze museum in Florence. A cast of the statue is also on display in London's V&A museum. Despite its popularity, the sculpture has long been controversial due to David's nudity.
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Tallahassee Classical is a charter school that follows Hillsdale College curriculum, which requires instruction about Renaissance art in sixth grade. The school recently lost its Hillsdale College affiliation for not meeting improvement standards, but it was able to regain curriculum status, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
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Carrie Boyd, who has a third-grader and a seventh-grader at the school, told the Tallahassee Democrat, that the news of Carrasquilla’s resignation came as a shock to many parents who felt they were not given adequate notice or time to give input about the school’s new principal.