Nudes in Museum Get Teacher Suspended
On April 26, McGee, an art teacher at Wilma Fisher Elementary in the Dallas suburb, led a group of 89 fifth graders to the Dallas Museum of Art. "It was great. No bridges collapsed on us or anything," she says. But the next day she was summoned to the office of principal Nancy Lawson. According to McGee, Lawson told her a parent had called to complain about the trip. The principal, says McGee, then informed "me how disgusted she was that I would allow those children to be exposed to nudes and nude representations of art."
McGee has since learned that her $57,600 annual contract will probably not be renewed. Today, the school board insists it took issue with the planning of the trip, not the art itself. Still, a May memo from Lawson specifically cites the nudity—as well as such "performance concerns" as talking on her cell phone and "wearing flip-flops" (footwear that McGee maintains was a pair of expensive sandals).
If McGee does lose her job, her attorney plans to appeal her case to the board. In the meantime, "the school district has made us look like a bunch of idiots," says McGee supporter Carol Links, whose daughter Hunter went on the trip. "It's not that way at all."