Florida Principal Forced Out After Viewing of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ Upsets Parents

Michelangelo's 'David' sculpture Shutterstock

“Teachers are the experts? Teachers have all the knowledge? Are you kidding me?” said the school board chair.

The principal of Florida’s Tallahassee Classical School was forced to resign under pressure from the board after parents complained that sixth graders were shown a photo of Michelangelo’s classic 16th-century sculpture, David. One parent apparently even called the statue “pornographic,” in case you needed to know how fraught the education system has gotten in Florida.

Now-former principal Hope Carrasquilla has told reporters that the situation was “a little more complicated than that,” a sentiment that was echoed in a completely unhinged Q&A with the school board chair, Barney Bishop, who said, “We’re Florida, OK? Parents will decide. Parents are the ones who are going to drive the education system here in Florida. The governor said that, and we’re with the governor. Parents don’t decide what is taught. But parents know what that curriculum is. And parents are entitled to know anytime their child is being taught a controversial topic and picture.”

Videos From Tinybeans

What the former principal and the school board chair agree on is that normally, parents get a letter warning them before something like David is shown in class. This year, due to “a series of miscommunications,” as Carrasquilla put it, the letter didn’t go out.

Carrasquilla added that one parent was “point-blank upset” and “felt her child should not be viewing those pieces.”

Carrasquilla was given the opportunity to resign “voluntarily” (with a letter of resignation given to her by Bishop) and told that if she didn’t sign the letter, the board would meet to discuss firing her with cause.

Tallahassee Classical School is a public charter school where students are chosen for admission on a lottery system. As Bishop put it, “Parents choose this school because they want a certain kind of education. We’re not gonna have courses from the College Board. We’re not gonna teach 1619 or CRT crap… The rights of parents, that trumps the rights of kids. Teachers are the experts? Teachers have all the knowledge? Are you kidding me? I know lots of teachers that are very good, but to suggest they are the authorities, you’re on better drugs than me.”

He also insisted that “classical education” is about “moral values, civic values, personal responsibility. Those are the things that aren’t being taught in schools. Along with history, science, math, art, music. We don’t have safe spaces for kids so they won’t be offended by a Halloween costume. We don’t use pronouns. We teach them phonics. We teach Singapore math. They learn to speak Latin. Every student learns a musical instrument.”

But a work of art that’s been considered a masterpiece for literal centuries? Best to protect kids from that.


Parenting news, advice, and inspo… right in your inbox.

By signing up to Tinybeans newsletters you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy