Part One: Summary of Facts
Sydney McGee, a beloved teacher with 27 years of experience, taught art at Wilma Fisher Elementary School in Frisco, Texas. In April, 2005, Ms. McGee took her fifth grade classes on a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. Ms. McGee arranged the trip, previewed the route through the museum, and approved the art to be shown. During the trip, students saw nude artworks. While it is unclear which nude art the students saw, the probable candidates are Maillol's Flora, Rodin's Shade, an ancient Greek statue of a nude male body, and Arp's Star in a Dream, an abstract nude, all of which were visible on the planned field trip route. The Dallas Museum of Art's permanent collection also includes a nude Hindu statue of the fertility goddess Yakshi and a Tibetan statue of the beast-headed god Dharmapala making love to his female consort, which a student may also have been able to view.
Following the field trip, at least one student reported to their parents that they had viewed nude artwork on the trip, and those parents complained to Wilma Fisher's principal, Nancy Lawson, who rebuked Ms. McGee. On September 22, 2006, the school board voted to suspend Ms. McGee with pay for the remainder of the 2006-07 school year. Following this decision, the superintendent of the Frisco Independent School District announced that Ms. McGee's request for a transfer was denied, that the school district would decline to renew her contract at the end of the year, and that her replacement had already been interviewed. These decisions have effectively ended Ms. McGee's career as school teacher in her community.
For additional commentary and discussion of the facts of this case, please see the discussion page.
- Continue to Part Two: Background and Guidelines for Participation
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