Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fifth Graders and Art Work

Did you see the story in this morning's news about Sydney McGee, the 28 year veteran art teacher who did not have her contract renewed because she took a fifth grade class to the Dallas Museum of Art? Apparently one child complained to her mother about "having" to view nude statutes and paintings with nude bodies. The Firsco School District is now saying that this was about performance issues not the field trip, but Ms. McGee has a letter she's made available to the press reprimanding her for explosing children to these images.

How deep does our erotophbia as a country go? I wonder if the mother of this child takes her to the grocery story where she can see the covers of women's magazines with their headlines promising better sex in ten days. Or what she does with the Victoria Secret catalogues that surely come in the mail -- or even the lingerie advertisements in the newspapers? Or what about allowing her in churches with religious art with nude bodies? Is the David now an erotic image to shield our children from?

Yes, today's children are exposed to thousands of sexualized messages, and most of us wish we could shield them. But from Greek statutes and religious paintings? And surely by the fifth grade, our children should have a solid understanding of their bodies and the gift that they are.

It may very well be that there is more to this story that we know at this moment. But it surely does offer yet another teachable moment to use with our children -- and our congregants.

1 comment:

Infoman said...

Right. It's okay to show kids teasing pictures in media, but to actually show the naked human body?? Oh, no..that's just terrible.