School principal fired for showing Michelangelo’s David in class
A parent in Tallahassee, Florida cost a charter school principal her job after complaining that one of the world's most beloved artistic masterpieces was pornographic.
Hope Carrasquilla, who had just stepped into her role at Tallahassee Classical School less than a year prior, announced her resignation on Monday during an emergency board meeting, according to the Tallahassee Democrat's reporting.
She spoke with the Tallahassee Democrat about the incident and the end to her time at the school.
Ms Carrasquilla told the paper that the school board's chair, Barney Bishop, informed her that she would either need to quit or she would be fired. Though it appears he did not specify why the principal was asked to leave, she believes it was related to a lesson on Renaissance art.
The paper spoke to Mr Bishop, who said he did give the ultimatum to the principal. However, he refused to explain why he did so on advice of the school's legal team.
“It saddens me that my time here had to end this way,” Ms Carrasquilla told the Tallahassee Democrat.
The former principal explained that the school is required by law to teach lessons on Renaissance art to sixth-graders — typically 11 and 12-year-old children — as a small portion of the annual curriculum. She said that three parents complained that their children were made uncomfortable by the lesson, which included a section on Michelangelo’s David.
The school board enacted a rule two months ago requiring parental notification two weeks before the teaching of any "potentially controversial" information.
Two of the three parents who complained about the Renaissance art lesson said they wished they'd been notified before it was taught. The third parent complained the lesson was pornographic, despite being taught to 11 and 12-year-olds who almost certainly have phones and access to fullness of the internet's depravities.
Many well-known works of Renaissance art — and in particular Michelangelo’s David — feature detailed depictions of the human body, including nudity.
Mr Bishop said that “parental rights are supreme, and that means protecting the interests of all parents, whether it’s one, 10, 20 or 50."
However, the complaining parents aren't the only ones in the school; others are frustrated that the school is not communicating with them about the high turnover rate for teachers and staff.
A parent with a third-grader at the school, Carrie Boyd, told the Tallahassee Democrat that parents were given next to no indication the school's principal was going to be forced out. She said that there may be a "paradigm shift" at the school, noting an increase in non-secular language.
"It's starting to feel like the school is becoming part of an agenda," she told the paper.
Mr Bishop is a lobbyist and has embraced Governor Ron DeSantis' educational agenda with enthusiasm, noting that Tallahassee Classical would be on the "cutting edge" of adopting the state's rules.
“We agree with everything the governor is doing in the educational arena. We support him because he’s right,” Mr Bishop said. “The whole woke indoctrination going on about pronouns and drag queens isn’t appropriate in school."