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A teacher faces dismissal for doing her job

This is the kind of story that makes my blood boil:

“Keep the ‘Art’ in ‘Smart’ and ‘Heart,’ ” Sydney McGee had posted on her Web site at Wilma Fisher Elementary School in this moneyed boomtown that is gobbling up the farm fields north of Dallas.

But Ms. McGee, 51, a popular art teacher with 28 years in the classroom, is out of a job after leading her fifth-grade classes last April through the Dallas Museum of Art. One of her students saw nude art in the museum, and after the child’s parent complained, the teacher was suspended.

Although the tour had been approved by the principal, and the 89 students were accompanied by 4 other teachers, at least 12 parents and a museum docent, Ms. McGee said, she was called to the principal the next day and “bashed.”

She later received a memorandum in which the principal, Nancy Lawson, wrote: “During a study trip that you planned for fifth graders, students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations.” It cited additional complaints, which Ms. McGee has challenged.

The school board suspended her with pay on Sept. 22.

I have represented teachers in this sort of situation -- good, even great, teachers who are doing their jobs and one complaint brings on a crisis.

My best wishes to Ms. McGee. (You can read the whole story.)

This entry was posted by Edward at 9:07 AM, 01 October 2006 | Categories: Constitutional law


The picture above was made in 1914 by the Birmingham Engraving Co. This reproduction is from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

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