Oh, puh-leese! Not again.
Last week the Daily Poop (aka the Dallas Morning News) ran a story about parents' objections to a textbook used in Plano's high school humanities class for gifted and talented students. The book in question is Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities. The reason? According to the article's author, the parents who protested the book's use claimed that "the college-level textbook reveals the darkest of artistic expressions" and objected to their daughter's being forced to look at the naughty images--of Michelangelo's David, the Hermes of Praxiteles, Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and Goya's Third of May 1808.
Now, I would agree that the Goya depicts one of the darker moments of human history, but am pretty sure that fourteen-year-olds have seen much worse on the news. If, of course, they watch the news--and if their mommies let them.
But we've heard this song before. In 2006, a Frisco teacher was fired for taking her charges to the Dallas Museum of Art, where one of them apparently caught a glimpse of some naughty bits down the hall and blabbed to mommy. These were fifth-graders, all of whom had obtained permission slips from their parents.
To Plano ISD's credit, they've rescinded their withdrawal of the book, although the parents are pursuing a review through the State Board of Education. Given that board's history, who knows what'll happen (for my take on the Board, see these posts on The Owl of Athena: Back to the Future and Educational Secession). I cannot help, however, but to see the whole episode as yet one more example of how education in Texas is being compromised by short-sightedness and ignorance.
There's apparently a Facebook page on this issue (authored by Ashley Meyers, who graduated from a Plano high school and now attends Northwestern University). Since I'm not a participant in this particular social network, you might want to look up the page and let us know what the 500 followers are saying.