West News Wire: A parent’s complaint that sixth graders were exposed to pornography during a lesson on Renaissance art that included Michelangelo’s David sculpture led a Michigan college to sever its partnership with the Florida charter school whose principal was compelled to resign. The lesson covered Michelangelo’s David sculpture.
According to a Hillsdale institution spokesperson, the small, Christian classical liberal arts institution in southern Michigan is no longer affiliated with Tallahassee Classical School, MLive.com reported on Thursday.
According to spokesperson Emily Stack Davis, “This drama around teaching Michelangelo’s ‘David’ sculpture, one of the most significant pieces of art in existence, has become a distraction from, and a parody of, the actual goals of classical education.” Of course, the “David” by Michelangelo and other works of art that feature the human figure are included in Hillsdale’s K–12 art curriculum.
Tallahassee Classical School was licensed to use Hillsdale’s classical education curriculum, but its license was “revoked and will expire at the end of the school year,” Davis said.
Hillsdale provides K-12 curriculum in partnership with dozens of charter schools across the country.
The Florida school’s principal Hope Carrasquilla resigned last week following an ultimatum from the school board’s chairman.
Carrasquilla told the Tallahassee Democrat one parent complained the material was pornographic and two other parents said they wanted to be notified of the lesson before it was given to their children. The instruction also included Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” painting and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.”
Tallahassee Classical School did not immediately respond to phone messages left Thursday seeking comment.
After Carrasquilla resigned, the Florence museum housing the David on Sunday invited parents and students from Tallahassee Classical School to visit the statue in person. Florence’s mayor also tweeted an invitation to Carrasquilla so he could personally honor her.
The David statue’s nudity has been part of a centuries-old debate about art pushing boundaries and the rules of censorship. In the 1500s, metal fig leaves covered the genitals of statues like the David when the Roman Catholic Church deemed nudity as immodest and obscene.