A Florida charter school principal, Hope Carrasquilla, has been ousted after multiple parents complained that their sixth graders were made to view pornography—because they looked at Michelangelo’s iconic statue of David.
The statue was shown during a sixth grade art history lesson at Tallahassee Classical School, the Tallahassee Democrat first reported. One of the most famous pieces of artwork in the world, the statue shows a chiseled, naked man posing. But while most of the world sees it as art, some parents deemed it “pornographic” and said it “upset” their children.
Parents at Tallahassee Classic now want to take an advanced vote on any lesson their kids could be subjected to that’s deemed “controversial,” part of a growing nationwide trend to dictate education supported by Florida’s own education board and the DeSantis administration.
The marble sculpture of the Biblical figure David was crafted between 1501 and 1504, originally commissioned for display inside an Italian cathedral. It now resides at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.
Carrasquilla said she had taught in classical education for a decade and knew that “once in a while you get a parent who gets upset about Renaissance art” — hence the letter. She was not surprised by the reaction from the school board chair, Barney Bishop, but the fact that other board members went along with him was unexpected.
The Tallahassee Classical School is affiliated with Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian institution that has sought to expand its influence over the last decade by helping set up public charter schools. Hillsdale briefly cut ties with the Tallahassee school in early 2022 for not meeting improvement standards, but it later regained affiliation. Hillsdale has raised funds for the charter school network by pledging to fight “leftist” and “distorted” teaching of American history, such as the lessons about slavery contained in The New York Times’ 1619 Project, the newspaper reported last year.