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Ousted teacher still defends student's art
July 12, 2001 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Ousted teacher still defends student's art Teacher's students put up mural and in it was depiction of two men kissing (among many other items). Teacher fired.
posted by Postroad (20 comments total)

 
Rednecks.
posted by Twang at 4:34 PM on July 12, 2001


I would like to see a picture of the mural...i hope the teacher in question does well in court.

any teachers on MeFi have any comments on this? is it really that easy to get fired?
posted by th3ph17 at 4:36 PM on July 12, 2001


It looks like the school administrators were taking their cue from the title of one of the school's namesake's works: Ship of Fools.
posted by idiolect at 4:46 PM on July 12, 2001


is it really that easy to get fired?

Apparently it's that easy to get fired in Wimberly, TX. It seems to me that this teacher has the administration's (and the school board's) number:

Mr. Roper insisted that the real objection from school board members was to the depiction of the two men kissing. "They backed themselves into a corner, so they came up with the excuse that they saw Satan in one of the images," he said.

It is definitely a longstanding tradition in Texas officialdom to bust out the Satan-worshippers when a convenient scapegoat is needed. Or, in this case, easier than a messy debate with artists and homosexuals about the first amendment. Also, keep in mind that this is rural Texas. I used to teach in Austin, where administrators are a little less thuggish and reactionary.

It's hard to be sure from one interview, but the guy seems like a kick-ass teacher. I hope he gets his job back.
posted by varmint at 5:13 PM on July 12, 2001


I am a teacher. I am now teaching undergrad at a university after becoming disgusted with high school.(I teach in New York City, and the high school in question was private.) I was criticized by the head english teacher because a story I was using had the phrase "doing it." I asked her what kind of work she was teaching, and she had some pretty standard selections: Oedipus Rex, the Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath. I guess, she objected to the modernity of the phrase "doing it." Or maybe it was the utter lack of violence that was the problem. This same teacher also threw a fit when science fiction was suggested for next year's curriculum. She ranted about how it wasn't really literature. I decided to leave, which was depressing because I became a high school teacher to introduce students new and interesting literature. I finally learned why I was so bored in high school.

I hope this guy wins.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:41 PM on July 12, 2001


Isn't "Satan" a religious figure that would be protected by the 1st amendment. If someone had drawn Jesus, there would not be a problem. But "Satan" is not protected. Wacky. Selective 1st amendment rights at work again.
posted by benjh at 6:05 PM on July 12, 2001


I used to be a public school teacher in MI. One of the reasons I quit was because of crap like this. I felt *very* controlled in the what I could teach, how I could teach, and the influence I could have over my students. I was there to inspire them to learn and think, but felt my hands were tied in many many ways. I used to go round and round with my principal about my teaching methods and the stories I'd select for my students to read. For instance, during my second year of teaching, I'd have my 9th graders read an amazing story called "The Lugwrench", about a young (married?) couple that were having relationship problems. One parent read the story (probably because it's short) and became upset because of a very mild descrtiption of the woman using her sexuality ("straightening her skirt and pulling down her sweater" or very similar words) to flag down passing motorists to help them change their flat tire. Extremely mild and innocuous, yet this parent raised hell with the school board and the principal over this story. It was shocking.

These are the same people that are banning books like "Pillars of the Earth" and "Huck Finn" and "Catcher in the Rye."

It isn't 1950 and isn't going to be 1950 anytime soon, folks. Let's acknowledge the pressures our teenagers are under and help them cope rather than hide behind ridiculous censorship tactics and intolerance.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 6:49 PM on July 12, 2001


There is a funny side to the story. K.A. Porter, for whom the school was named, was a communist at one time, a person enamoured of a few top Nazis (through a boyfriend), a fallen Catholic, a revolutionary (while in Mexico), and married some 4 times.
posted by Postroad at 7:08 PM on July 12, 2001


Texas. Give it back to Mexico.
posted by pracowity at 10:52 PM on July 12, 2001


Ah, one of the Great American Paradoxes! The nation that more than any other pumps out porn in every possible permutation at an every-increasing rate, but can nonetheless be dependably Victorian in its attitudes towards sex. Always entertaining, always good for a laugh.

/STWC dons flameproof suit
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:53 PM on July 12, 2001


The nation that more than any other pumps out porn in every possible permutation at an every-increasing rate, but can nonetheless be dependably Victorian in its attitudes towards sex.

Whadayamean "nonetheless"? The Victorians had a thriving porn industry.

I'd also support giving Texas back to Mexico, but there's no reason to believe that Mexico wants them.
posted by anapestic at 6:02 AM on July 13, 2001


I'd also support giving Texas back to Mexico, but there's no reason to believe that Mexico wants them.

Can we give Detroit to Canada next? Pleeease?
posted by dagnyscott at 6:23 AM on July 13, 2001


canada does NOT want detroit.
posted by raedyn at 7:15 AM on July 13, 2001


and yes, it can be that easy to get fired when it relates to some knee-jerk "protect the children" subject. isn't that sad?
posted by raedyn at 7:20 AM on July 13, 2001


canada does NOT want detroit.

Well, you know, it's been a while since we had a good war, especially locally. Generally, nations fight wars to take territory, but in these cases, we could tell our neighbors to the north and south to absorb Detroit and Texas or else fight.

Or we could just redraw the borders and not tell them until later. "Nuh-uh, Dallas is on your side of the border. Now, take our Dubya. Please."
posted by anapestic at 7:30 AM on July 13, 2001


fine then, we get toledo back.
posted by clavdivs at 7:46 AM on July 13, 2001


Texas. Give it back to Mexico.

When I first heard of some propsed plan to build an impenetrable "great wall" along the Texas border many years ago, I thought it was a fantastic idea.

I was extremely disappointed when I found out they planned to build it along the southern border.
posted by harmful at 8:04 AM on July 13, 2001


no, let texas succeed from the union, then we invade.
posted by clavdivs at 8:21 AM on July 13, 2001


stavros: this is what bothers me. people assume, in their seemingly infinite ignorance, that there is such a being as a "typical american." there is not. the attitudes of this nation run the gamut from extremely open to extremely conservative.

and, in fact, that goes for most nations. i remember when the british were shitting bricks over the dreadful americans "showing up" the british after winning some golf tournament. how unsportsmanlike--the british would never do such a thing! except when it comes to soccer (or shall i say "football"): then it's ok to riot. whatever.

every nation has its so-called paradoxes.
posted by moz at 9:56 AM on July 13, 2001


Wow... I'm beginning to wonder if the "get rid of Detroit" stuff is referring to me personally.

Actually, I'd like to get all of the Canadians OUT of Detroit! ;)
posted by tj at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2001


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