(MENAFN) Hope Carrasquilla, the principal of Tallahassee Classical School, a Florida charter school affiliated with conservative Christian college Hillsdale College, resigned this week after parents complained about an art history lesson. The controversy arose when sixth-grade students were shown images of Michelangelo's famous statue "David." Parents alleged that the images were "pornographic" and "unsuitable" for the school, leading Carrasquilla to offer her resignation to the school's board.
However, school board chair Barney Bishop claimed that Carrasquilla was asked to resign over "a number of other issues," and that the latest incident was the culmination. He also alleged that Carrasquilla knew that blaming the Michelangelo photo for her resignation would be twisted by the mainstream media and not report the truth.
Tallahassee Classical School is a public tuition-free lottery-based charter school that opened its doors in 2020 to the Tallahassee community, offering classical instruction to about 350 students. Carrasquilla was the school's third principal since its opening, with the first principal becoming pregnant before taking the role, and the second being an interim principal commuting from Texas.
The controversy surrounding the Michelangelo images comes amid a broader push by some conservative groups to exert more control over what is taught in schools. In July 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education bill, which seeks to give parents more control over their children's education. Recent bills have banned Florida schools from teaching about menstruation, while a House panel backed partisan school board races. Schools are also required to have a valid media specialist to review books.
In conclusion, the resignation of Hope Carrasquilla as principal of Tallahassee Classical School highlights the ongoing debate around what is taught in schools in Florida. While parents complained about a sixth-grade art history lesson, school board chair Barney Bishop claimed that Carrasquilla's resignation was the result of broader issues. The controversy comes amid a push by some conservative groups to exert more control over what is taught in schools, including recent bills banning certain topics and requiring media specialists to review books.
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