Welcome, Members of Parliament

Welcome, Members of Parliament. This blog is designed to act as a student forum for anyone enrolled in my classes at a Dallas-area proprietary college, former students, and/or others who find our conversations interesting. The Parliament will be moderated to ensure civility and relevance. The directions we take, the paths we follow, and the concerns we address are all up to you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Nincompoopery about Nekkid Bodies

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To Plano ISD's credit, they've rescinded their withdrawal of the book, although the parents are pursuing a review through the State Board of Education.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.

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