Speed Reads

Controversy Over David

Florida principal forced to resign over Michelangelo's David display

A principal at a Florida charter school was forced to resign after parents complained that a sixth-grade lesson featuring Michelangelo's David statue was pornographic. 

The incident occurred during a Renaissance art lesson at Tallahassee Classical School when children were shown the statue, a nude depiction often considered one of the most famous sculptures in Western civilization. However, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that parents reacted angrily, with at least one saying the material was pornographic and others wanting to be able to approve the lessons before they occurred. 

The principal, Hope Carrasaquilla, resigned "after she was given an ultimatum by the school board to resign or be fired," BBC News reported. The Democrat added that Carrasaquilla reportedly believed her resignation was directly related to the David lesson. 

"It is with a sad heart that my time as the principal of Tallahassee Classical School has come to an end," she wrote in her resignation letter, obtained by The Washington PostBarney Bishop III, the chair of the school board, confirmed to the Post that he had indeed given Carrasaquilla an ultimatum after three parents complained that David was not appropriate for their children to see. 

Bishop also told the Post that there were "several issues with the principal, including not notifying parents ahead of time that their children would be shown the Renaissance statue."

However, in a heated interview with Slate, Bishop pushed back against the assertion that Carrasaquilla's resignation was based simply on children being shown the statue. Rather, he said, it was based on an "egregious mistake" the school made by not giving parents advance notice that David would be shown, something he says occurred in prior years. 

"We're Florida, okay? Parents will decide. Parents are the ones who are going to drive the education system here in Florida," Bishop said.