Is Michelangelo Getting Principals Fired?

Alexandra Kouropteva, Staff Writer

Michelangelo is known for being one of the greatest artists of his lifetime. He was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of “The High Renaissance.” He has created several famous pieces including The Creation of Adam, The Last Judgment, and his most well-known work of art, David.
David is one of the most famous works in the world, and people from all over fly to Italy just to get a glimpse of him. Many schools that incorporate the learning of art and its history into their curriculum teach about it. This, however, has led to some controversy.
In Tallahassee Classical, a Florida charter school, sixth-grade students are required to have a lesson on Renaissance art. During this lesson, they are shown multiple art pieces including the marble statue of David. Subsequently, several parents raised concerns that they were not made aware that the image would be shown to the students. Some of the parents felt “point blank upset” and that “their child should not be viewing such material.” One parent even stated that David was “pornographic.” After several of those complaints, Hope Carrasquilla was forced to resign after being principal for less than a year. Junior Andrea Porras explained “I think that the principal should have made sure that the letters were sent out, but making the principal resign is a bit extreme.” Surprisingly, Tallahassee Classical has had three principals resign or be fired since it first opened in 2020.
This information has made headlines across the United States and even in Italy. In Florence, the David sculpture is shown on display at Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia. Cecilie Hollberg, the director of the Gallery, argues “To think that David could be pornographic means truly not understanding the contents of the Bible, not understanding Western culture, and not understanding Renaissance art.” The city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, agrees with Hollberg and has even extended an invitation to the school’s former principal to view the artwork.
Speaking out on the subject, school board chair Barney Bishop told press outlets that “the issue wasn’t with David itself” since the school has shown this in previous years, “the issue lies with the fact that the procedures to inform parents were not followed.” Usually the school would send out a letter stating that they would be showing the image, and if a parent did not want their child to see it they would be excused. He follows this by saying “We are not trying to ban the picture, we think it is beautiful but we are going to make sure the concept of parental rights is supreme.” Sophomore Brandon Clement stated, “Teachers are experts on what they need to teach, they have passed their exams and gone through the proper schooling. And when they are in their class they should teach the things they deem appropriate. I believe having parental right as supreme is not logical.”
Many people have taken issue with this famous piece of art being equated with pornography. Rick Stevens, an American travel writer, author, and activist states: “This is just the latest example of the American insistence on seeing great art and the human body as somehow dirty.” Others online have responded similarly to this controversy, including several parents. This creates the question of whether or not more pieces of art and history will start to be not taught in schools.