Florida principal resigns after students at Tallahassee Christian charter school walk out a statue of the biblical character David by Michelangelo is shownwhich prompted at least one parent to complain that their children had been exposed to pornography.
Hope Carrasquillo resigned as principal of Tallahassee Classical School on Monday after the campus board ordered her to resign or be fired amid complaints from parents who came in after sixth-graders were shown a 16th-century sculpture , one of the most famous in the Renaissance. works of art.
Although not directly related to the legislation, Carrascilla’s decision to resign comes as far-right Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes to expand a law that bans public schools from teaching sex education and gender identity. That law is part of a broader conservative movement that advocates the so-called parental rightswhich are intended to give parents a greater say in their children’s education, but critics say are actually a front to promote right-wing ideologies in schools.
Tallahassee Democrat reported that one of the parents of the school called the image of Michelangelo’s David “pornographic”. Karaskilya told HuffPost reports that normal school protocol is to notify parents by email when students need to be shown “potentially controversial” a classic work of art. However, as a result of a “series of misunderstandings”, the letter was not sent to the parents of the sixth-graders before they were shown the David sculpture.
One parent “felt that her child shouldn’t be watching these pieces” and described being “deeply upset,” Carrascilla told the publication.
The Tallahassee Classical School is a branch of Hillsdale College, a private conservative Christian institution in Michigan. In accordance with on its website, the school aims to “train the minds and improve the hearts of young people through a content-rich, classical education in the liberal arts and sciences with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue.”
In an an interview with Slate, Tallahassee Classical School Board Chairman Barney Bishop III said the issue was not that Renaissance art was being shown to students, but that parents were not notified in advance. The Washington Post reported that the lesson plan that featured the statue of David also included images of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus frescoes depicting nudity.
“We have practice,” Bishop said. “Last year, the school sent a preliminary notice about this. Parents should know: students will see, hear or talk about it in class. We didn’t send that message this year.”
He added: “We made a glaring mistake this year. We did not send this message. Look, we’re not a public school. We are a public charter. Parents after they see all the crap being taught in public schools [the Covid-19 pandemic] have decided themselves that they do not want their children to be taught this.
“The rights of parents trump the rights of children.”
Last month as part of it culture war vs. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, DeSantis announced plans to prevent public colleges from having diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and programs in critical race theory.