Florida School Faces Controversy Over Teaching Michelangelo's "David" to Students


(MENAFN) Tallahassee Classical School, a charter school affiliated with conservative Christian college Hillsdale College, is facing controversy over its decision to teach Michelangelo's "David" to its students. The school, which opened in 2020, teaches the sculpture every year, but this year, the administration did not notify parents before the lesson. According to the school's board chair, Barney Bishop, 97 percent of parents agreed to the lesson this year, but the 3 percnet who did not agree were entitled to their opinion.

The controversy has arisen in the context of Florida's Parental Rights in Education law, which allows parents to weigh in on school lessons and limits discussions on gender and sexuality in schools. The law, which was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year and is sometimes referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, is one of several recent bills in the state that would limit what is discussed in school settings. Another bill, for example, limits teaching about menstruation.

The controversy over "David" has also been linked to a broader dispute at the school. The school's former head of school, Jana Carrasquilla, was asked to resign over "a number of other issues," according to Barney Bishop. Bishop claims that the "David" incident was just the latest issue under Carrasquilla, and that she blamed it for her resignation so that the whole truth wouldn't be reported.

Michelangelo's "David" is one of the artist's most famous works, and is on display at Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia. The sculpture, which was created between 1501 and 1504, is a towering figure of a nude man, and is widely considered a masterpiece of Renaissance art. Another series of nude sculptures by Michelangelo, referred to as prisoners or slaves, is also on display at the museum. The artist is known for many significant works of art, including the Sistine Chapel ceiling at the Vatican.

The controversy over "David" highlights the ongoing debate over what should be taught in schools and how much control parents should have over their children's education. While some argue that parents should have a say in what is taught, others argue that schools should be free to teach a wide range of subjects and that limiting discussions on certain topics can be harmful to students' education. The issue is likely to continue to be a point of contention in schools across the country.

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