[Only in America…] Teacher reprimanded after student sees nude art on museum trip

FRISCO — School board members have voted to not renew the contract of a veteran art teacher who was reprimanded after one of her fifth-grade students saw a nude sculpture during a school trip to a museum.

Sydney McGee has been on paid administrative leave from Fisher Elementary School since Friday, said her attorney Rogge Dunn.

McGee’s contract runs through the end of the school year and it was unclear whether she would remain on leave until then. Her attorney said he would wait for written confirmation and clarification from the school district to decide how to proceed.

He said McGee, a 28-year veteran teacher, was upset about the Monday decision.

“If they had good reason to fire her, they would have, but they don’t,” Dunn said. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Board members declined to take questions after their closed meeting and a message left with the Frisco Independent School District wasn’t immediately returned.

McGee has said her troubles started after taking 89 students on a school field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art in April.

The principal at Fisher elementary, Nancy Lawson, later admonished McGee about the trip, telling her a parent complained about a student seeing nude art, said Dunn, a Dallas labor lawyer.

School officials didn’t reveal which parent made the complaint.

McGee also said it was the principal who urged her to take the students to the museum, Dunn said.

District officials have said the museum field trip didn’t spark reprimands of the teacher. They have repeatedly pointed to other performance issues.

The district rejected McGee’s request in August to transfer to another Frisco school. They said they didn’t want to give her a chance to move elsewhere without addressing other issues, including lesson-plan preparation.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday September 29, 2006.
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