SCSQUARED halfBy Grace Freeman, San Clemente

One seemingly average morning, earlier this May, I entered my Advanced Placement Art history classroom at San Clemente High School to discover my favorite teacher had been suspended for showing the class a film called The Artist is Present. As I was researching additional information on his suspension, I came upon recently published article on OC Weekly’s webpage that concerned my art history teacher, Roderick Urquidi. It revealed to the public that Urquidi had shown an “inappropriate” film during class that showcased nudity of the human body in various ways, and that certain parents had been appalled that they had not been asked to sign a permission slip to allow their teenage kids to watch the film in class. I write today to share my experience as a student of Urquidi’s for the last two years, not to deny any accusations against him, but to give another perspective.

I was enrolled in Mr. Urquidi’s World History class last year as well as his AP art history class this year, my junior year of high school. English was always my favorite subject in school until sophomore year, but Mr. Urquidi changed that. Mr. U opened up a world that I had never knew about. He taught me about cultures all over the world, he taught me about the gray areas in life, he taught me to care about our environment and preserving the earth, he taught me about the prejudice and hierarchy that has haunted the history of humans, but also about the beauty and wonder we create in art and our capacity for compassion and love towards each other. He showed me that art can change the world and has inspired me, as a songwriter, to write about what I really care about, in hope that one day I can influence people, as several artists he introduced me to did—Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Cab Calloway, Anoushka Shankar, Vik Muniz (artist from the film Wasteland, who took on the challenge to make beautiful art out of the trash from the world’s largest landfill in Brazil,) the makers of Food Inc. (it converted me to a vegetarian diet,) and Marina Abromovic, the artist from “The Artist is Present,” among so many others.

From Hellenistic Greek to Italian Renaissance to Modern art, we have seen nudity in art as a class all year—because seriously, let’s face it—nudity is a part of art. AP art history is an elective class, therefore it was a choice made by each student to take this class, and I assume AP students would be prepared enough to expect that there might be nudity. Art is full of controversial messages and themes, and diving into the subject of art history takes some open-mindedness from students and perhaps parents too. Despite the criticism Mr. Urquidi has received for showing The Artist is Present which included nudity, to our class, I was personally inspired by it. It was not a movie about nudity, it was not meant to be “inappropriate” or “provocative.” It was about humanity, passion, crossing-boundaries, all the things that art is—Marina Abromovic, the performance artist featured in the film, used art as a way to connect with her audience through being honest and true to herself. I felt I could connect with her through this film because she had compassion and an understanding and love for all humanity that was astounding. Her art brought tears to my eyes several times throughout the film.

Now each morning that I walk into class, the excitement of learning is no longer there. His collection of Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Nick Drake album covers remain posted on the wall, his library of philosophical and political books remain stacked on his bookshelf, and various trinkets—an aged guitar, and several pieces of art from past students—linger around the corners of the room, but without him at his desk or passionately lecturing away in front of his podium. I had planned all year to give him the album I just finished with my band, The Moon Police, on the last day of school and thank him for his inspiration. My intent on writing this letter, again, is just to share my opinion, and let the public know that Mr. Urquidi was admired and respected by many of his students of the past and of the present, and that his suspension from San Clemente High School was perhaps the results of a mistake, perhaps the result of the innate controversy of art— but not a crime.  I sincerely hope that he will continue to enlighten kids like me about the beauty of art and of life.

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comments (21)

  • Dear Grace,

    My son is a current student of the AP Art History course, and he too commiserates with you in your loss of a teacher that truly inspired the both of you. I have been hearing from him all year about things he’s learned in that class, not only about art through the ages but the cultures and world views that produced it. It is utterly shameful that Mr. Urquidi’s students, at least the ones who chose this challenging elective course, have been deprived of this brilliant man.

    My son was eager for me to see The Artist Is Present. We watched it together, and like you, I was moved powerfully by this film, from the genius of the directing to the genius of the subject matter, Marina Abramović. It baffles me that anyone with an IQ over 60 would find this film “inappropriate.” (For those insulted by my blatant ad hominem salvo, I apologize.) I have absolutely no formal training in art production or consumption. Any knowledge I have is autodidactic. Nevertheless, I cannot conceive of a more fitting end to an art history course, one that starts with ancient Sumerian pieces and ends with modern performance art. From the film, we learn that Marina Abramović is considered the “grandmother of performance art,” the perfect subject of study for the students of AP Art History; and the film documents not only the two-and-a-half month exhibition at MoMA of her work, but the preparation (and context) for such a showing. The title of the exhibition was also The Artist Is Present because Marina Abramović’s presented her most current performance piece (back in 2010) at the culmination of the exhibit. The rest of the show was a retrospective of Marina Abramović’s performance works of the past 40 years. Apparently she is appropriate for MoMA and for the rest of the art world, but not for some of the students or parents of San Clemente high school, or for some members of CUSD.

    As I said, Grace, I have not been trained in art history. However, I have taught in colleges and universities for the last 27 years. The material of the film is what I would expect in a college-level course, especially one focusing on art history. My colleagues who teach college-level art assure me that this type of material is, to put it mildly, “unremarkable” in their field. So there really is no excuse for you or my son to have lost this teacher who impassioned so many, just for showing this film. I am a little embarrassed that this could happen in our little place in time, but I guess there are still some things that we as a culture can’t quite learn from the lessons of history.

    Take care Grace,

    Matthew Hunt

  • What an absolutely elegant article. It is sad to hear that the teaching profession and SCHS lost a talented and dedicated teacher.

  • Thanks to Grace and to Professor Hunt – two well reasoned and eloquent pieces that moved me deeply……it is such a shame that two good men and their families should suffer by losing their jobs and suffering a loss of reputation because CUSD appear to me to (based on the information available to me) have overreacted.
    If CUSD really felt strongly about the showing of the film, then a simple letter to the two teachers asking them to desist in future or deal with difficult subject matter differently would surely have done the trick.
    Stephen Evans, SCHS parent.

  • What an amazing article, Grace Freeman. If all young men and women are as articulate, compassionate, insightful and discerning, our future will be in good hands. As a teacher for more than 36 years, I find your words of praise, admiration and inspiration felt for your teacher to be a testament to Mr. Urquidi’s skill at a craft that is becoming lost in the paper chase dictated by non-educators who mandate educational policy. While I am not fully aware of all the facts of the suspension of this teacher, I have tremendous respect for students who are trying to make a difference for the educators who did.

  • A very thoughtful letter about art and nudity if it were written about a college class on art appreciation. As a succsessful amateur artist I have a few nude sculptures from my college days in “life sculpture ” where we obviously had a nude model in class.

    If we follow your logic, there shouldn’t be a problem with students in SC High being able to duplicate what all artists have done for centuries; draw or sculpt and appreciate the nude form working from a live model — and yet I don’t think you or “anyone with an IQ over 60” would think that is appropriate. I am assuming all the controversy is that the teacher did not bother to ask parents if they want their children to watch this film.

    Here is the review from the Hollywood Reporter – “A personally revealing look at an artist most famous for maintaining stone-faced silence for three months, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present makes performance art accessible (if not totally comprehensible) to newbies and depicts a figure many viewers will want to know better. The HBO-presented doc has a broad enough appeal (and copious nudity never hurts) that an arthouse run might be warranted.

    Believe it or not some parents may not want their children watching “copious” amounts of nudity. Maybe you and I think it is appropriate – I wouldn’t have a problem with my 17 year old taking life sculpture at Saddleback. But part of being an artist is understanding and appreciating that not all people share your views on nudity or contriversal issues or art. If we all agreed that the art or artist was wonderful is can’t qualify as controversial. Which leads us to tolerance – why did the teacher not have the sensitivity to inform parents of the nature of the film and give them the option to make an informed opinion if they wanted their children to watch “copious” amounts of nudity? Can you respect how other people feel about art and nudity particularly when it comes to their values and what they what their children exposed to at a public school. All fun it feels good to be righteous to throw rocks at prudes but can you also muster some respect for parents and their prudish values and let them express themselves about if they want their kids to watch this particular film?

  • Not so much to Jim, – but to all those that make comments in this situation, to Parents who call CUSD, to School Boards who suspend teachers, and to ALL those that potentially ruin a dedicated Teacher’s career – I hope they actually watched the film and did more than just read a review from the Hollywood Reporter.

    And if they did watch it, kudos.

    I did- I do not think it warrants firing a teacher. I say this as a dedicated parent of 3, with 2 at SC High School. Of course, I have no vote.

    And if there is something more to it- then tell us. The decisions (add Now Former Principle) CUSD make behind closed doors – actually matters to the parents, taxpayers, and students of San Clemente.

  • Mr. Bieber, thank you for your interesting comments. I am glad that you have brought up the “copious amounts of nudity” issue. As I have already professed, I am an art ignoramus. That notwithstanding, I assumed, as a parent who allowed his 16-year-old son to register for Advanced Placement Art History, that he would see copious amounts of nudity. I figured the statuary of ancient Greece and Rome would do that, and then the Renaissance and Enlightenment would finish the job. Again, my frame of reference is small in this area, so I figured other parents would think likewise. I don’t remember all of the documents I signed at the beginning of the school year, but I am very confident that one release form covered this topic in the art history course.

    But here’s the interesting thing, which you have brought up about the Abramović nudity in The Artist Is Present: it was, in my opinion, abundantly worthwhile, or even more, necessary. In one stirring piece, Ms. Abramović lays bare in various positions while embracing a human skeleton. I felt the piece was more about the fragility of life than the nudity, and if anything, it hinted at the ephemeral nature of the body beautiful. Had she been dressed, it would not have had the same effect. If anything, Ms. Abramović’s work shown in the film deconstructs the nudity in a way to get at the more spiritual side of our being—which is probably not the point of nudity in other art work. In a part the film (which I think was captured in photographs and was not a performance piece—again, I’m woefully uneducated in this subject), Ms. Abramović rides a subway train, fully dressed while the passengers (of all types) ride mundanely doing what they would normally do, but in the nude. The nudity is a powerful genre with which she packages her art. I don’t know how powerful it would be without it, and I don’t know what an advanced placement student in this subject would gain from missing it. (And in the context of her life’s work, the final performance of her exhibition was that much more potent, as you’ve quoted from the Hollywood Reporter, when Abramović sat for three months in “stone-face silence.” In this piece, she was dressed as if she lived in a convent, which made her facial expression that much more moving.)

    Again, thank you for your comments.

    Matthew Hunt

  • I chose the Hollywood Reporter as a review because it was it wasn’t The Parent Council or some right-wing organization. It was a sympathetic news source that spelled out what some parents might object to.

    Again, given this logic on the importance of nudity in art and art history please explain why there aren’t nude models in art classes in high school? Budget constraints? “Oh don’t be ridicules it’s just a film, it’s not a porno. She is a well established artists whose work hangs a MOCA!”

    I am pleased that you and others have seen an art film that ‘blows your mind.’ Even becoming evangelical about it, going so far as to admonish anyone who bases their concern on its appropriateness on a “review” without being brave enough to see it.

    By the theoretical powers vested in me, I am now the replacement art teacher at SC . Next week we will watch Un Chien Andalou by Salvador Dali. You know Salvador Dali? Melting clocks? The founder of modern surrealism. A pioneering artist of such historical importance that Ms. Abramović cannot occupy an inch of his shadow. His film from 1928 (only 15 mins long) is considered one of the most influential films in history and is an ultimate example of surrealism art. I could go on and on and on and be extraordinarily arrogant in browbeating you that you have never seen this film, don’t know the background on Dali, maybe you’ve seen him on t-shirts with the goofy mustache?

    So based on all my pompousness about appreciating art history, controversial art, a film that was praised in its day and by every film historian as a “masterpiece” that continues to influence, who are you to object if I show in MY CLASS? You haven’t even seen the film.
    I, being the new art teacher will show the film and not expect any objections from parents because anyone who might find it inappropriate for an advanced art class is a prude or has an IQ under 60.

    Since you are keen on art films here is a link to Un Chien Andalou on YOUTUBE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIKYF07Y4kA

    And yes I am being snarky as I am flabbergasted by the total inconsideration of other parents with zero sensitivity given to their values and what they might feel is inappropriate for their children to watch. Maybe being fired was too harsh I don’t know the whole history of the teacher but to blame parents who complained and make them villains? It appears the defenders of showing this film without consulting parents are simply taking a page from Ms Abramovic and trying to be offensive.

  • I don’t know all the details, but according to Grace who started this chain with a awesome testimony- it was an AP class? Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. College level…(like back when you painted nudes- I bet you were way less Snarky back then- I know I was)…

    So when I heard that a teacher had been suspended and/or fired; AND personally knowing the film beyond a review- I believed and still believe the action is completely wrong. Based on my,albeit limited, information about the behind the scenes CUSD action.

    Losing a job deeply affects someone’s life. Having watched the film- AND having 3 kids- I am convinced this film did no damage to any AP student who watched it. They will be fine. Punishment does not fit the crime, blah, blah…
    That is where my actual argument ends.

    But you might be right in picking up my personal bias against certain parents.

    In context of my bias, this movie, and an AP ART class at SC high school where my kids attend, -it reminds me too much of all the classic books (insert science books here) that have been burned or banned or used to force a teachers exit because they frighten a parent’s unique values in a public school system. To them, my bias says “grow up, your kids going to college next year, if you are really worried about this movie?- bless you.”

    More Bias: It was a really powerful and interesting movie, I don’t even remember it as a “copious nudity” flick (it certainly wasn’t “sexy”), and I think it was actually WORTHY of showing in a college level class at a public school. It was good! I don’t say that to stir up controversy (I saw it before I heard of Mr. U).

    …But my argument is still only that in NO WAY does it justify a firing an inspiring, or even in-inspiring, teacher.

    Oh, and, I am super happy I didn’t go into teaching AP art at SC high- that is for sure. Good luck Mr. U.

  • Salvador Dali? Really? That is what you would show children, Mr. Beiber, in an AP Art History class? Surrealism? Would you also teach the kids what Surrealists were trying to achieve, especially in representing basic Freudian unconscious human drives, in particular sex and aggression? Would you also include other Surrealist-Freudian ideas and themes, such as Surrealist subliminal inclusion of human genitalia into their paintings, as well as Freud’s Electra Complex, and the Oedipus Complex?

    What Marina Abramovic does is break with 35,000 – 45,000 years of art history tradition, starting with the “Venus” figures, like the Venus of Willendorf (35,000 BC). From then to now, the artistic tradition on the depiction of the female form has typically focused on women and their reproductive potential (like the Venus figures), sensual qualities (like the “Venus de Milo,” the “Venus of Urbino,” by Titian, “Grande Odalisque,” by Ingres, or “Olympia,” by Manet), or as models of morality (“Cornelia Presenting her Children as Treasures.” Marina’s nudes – made of real humans rather than bronze, marble, wooden, or painted representations – break with this long artistic tradition of depicting the female form as objects of reproduction, desire, or virtue.

    The roughly five minutes of nudity total, in the 1.5 hour long film, is focused on her early works, featured in the MoMA “The Artist is Present” retrospective portion of the documentary. The teacher did not show a live nude performance artist during class, but a documentary about an established and avante-garde performance artist who uses her body as a ephemeral vehicle to communicate a “truth” about the human experience – another radical break with established art historical traditions and values, all eternally enshrined in bronze, marble, wood, clay, or canvas.

  • “Salvador Dali? Really? That is what you would show children, Mr. Beiber, in an AP Art History class? Surrealism?”

    Yes I would – Really. See link to teacher’s manual for Surrealism –

    http://noma.org/uploads/Surrealism-1320356779.pdf

    Introduction to the Teacher’s Manual
    This learning resource is intended for teachers of students in Grades 1-12 and may be adapted
    for specific grade levels. We hope that you will use the manual and accompanying images to
    help your students gain an in-depth knowledge of the New Orleans Museum of Art’s
    collection of Surrealist Art.

    So based on your concern of some of its sexual origins you would prohibit or complain if Surrealism were taught in a AP art class?

    To quote from a previous post when describing The Artist Is Present ” My colleagues who teach college-level art assure me that this type of material is, to put it mildly, “unremarkable” in their field.”

    I have no doubt Professor Hunt’s colleagues would say the same thing about studying Dali in a college class. Its par for the course. The only question at hand is – when you enroll your high school student in an AP class do you relinquish any input and give the teacher carte blanche to show or discuss ANYTHING that is “unremarkable” at the college level.

    Health class is mandatory but when it comes time to do the week discussion on sex – parental slips go home. Why? Why bother, no one I know was ever traumatized by sex ed. The permission, is it for the benefit of the students or as a courtesy to the parents. I am down with nudity in art and understand its importance – by kids have seen buttloads of nude art at the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, The Pablo Picasso museum in Barcelona etc…

    This film about a performance artists – the film isn’t rated – if it were it would get an R. it is “controversial” for a reason – part of that is her take on nudity/sexuality. Obviously some parents felt that her take nudity and sexuality wasn’t appropriate for their teens JUST as the last post does not think even learning about Surrealism is appropriate for high school students. “Surrealist logic” take Mr. Stone’s suggestion about your kids watching Un Chien Andalou by Salvador Dali that will be shown in my theoretical high school art class “grow up, your kids going to college next year, if you are really worried about this movie?- bless you.”

    OR you can agree with me and think “yeah this can be shown but its best to get permission from parents as this is “extraordinary” stuff to be shown in a high school class” as its the parents who are footing the bill for the class and are the guardian’s of their own kids.

  • Dr. Mr. Beiber, Mr. Stone, “Surrealistic Logic,” and of course, Grace,

    The funny thing to me is that I think we’re all kind of on the same page. (I actually think we might all enjoy each other.) If I can summarize, I feel that Mr. Beiber would like those in my camp to “chill” a little, that parents have a right to take exception to things being taught and done in the school (or district, for that matter). Indeed, he is right, for it is my duty as a parent to protect my son. And even “Surrealistic Logic” feels there are some art movements that should be taught delicately. But I think we, perhaps, might be slipping down a rabbit hole chasing a red herring if we start to argue about what is okay and what is not in the AP Art History class. At this point, I really think we should just look at the facts, and unfortunately, the facts are hard to reconstruct, especially when the personnel issues are kept hush hush.

    Normally, I would suggest reading “Letter to the Editor: Art History Issue Should Not Reflect Poorly on Halt,” which was posted on the SC Times website on May 8th so that you (we) could try to reconstruct the facts as the participants unveiled them (and as much as we can pull truth from this free-form media of the comment blog). What is most unfortunate is that many of the authors requested that the SC Times pull their posts, which it did, and so now, we have an even choppier version of what went on.

    I am posting these messages here because I feel like my child was wronged in this instance. (I am being one of those parents who is stepping in.) My son’s experience this year was similar to Grace’s, and then his teacher was taken out of the classroom for the rest of the year. Mr. Urquidi’s students did not have him for the final week of preparation for the AP Art History exam, and they do not have him now. One of his former students who just finished a course with me at Saddleback College told me that the final project of the art history class was the most meaningful of all of the projects she did in high school. I mourn the fact that my son will not have the opportunity to have the same experience.

    Nevertheless, if you read the entire “Art History Issue” blog, even with the missing pieces, you will see a divide between the students. My son did not participate in the exchange of viewpoints, but he sides with Grace above, and with the postings of other current students, a young Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Leland, and Ms. Fedorovsky. Reading the two sides of that divide makes it apparent that the nudity wasn’t even an issue. As with Mr. Stone, I am really bothered that Mr. Urquidi has had to suffer this indignity from what seems to be motives that had nothing to do with the film that we are now arguing about.

    By the way, I do have a copy (screen shots) of one of the postings (from the other side of the divide) that was removed; my email is easy enough to find; contact me if you’d like a copy of those specific complaints, and you can decide if you feel, as Mr. Stone laments, that the punishment does not fit the crime. In fact, you may feel as I do, that the wrong parties are being punished and others’ crimes are not being pursued.

    Respectfully,

    Matthew Hunt

  • Mathew, thanks for the thoughtful post/ reply. Based on this one insident I don’t think it justified firing him and in no way should he have been removed on the spot if this was the only misstep. But as you said we may never know. The one last item for the supporters of principle Halt (my self included) to consider is that the teachers’ union spent $260,000 to elect the current trustees who won in the last election. $260K buys a lot of clout and muscle. If they ( the teachers union ) wanted Halt reinstated they could make it happen. For anyone who doubts that, pause and think “where is the union letter or rep addressing the board ?” Part of the PAC name that spent the $260 was “childen first”. If that was the case they would weigh in on behalf of the students/parents. Thanks for overlooking my snarkness – I could turn down the blow troch a bit. And if you did want to watch the Dali movie on YouTube , see link ,be prepared to vomit – it was created to make people ill. But it is historically significant as perfoance art.

  • Jim Bieber,
    The only thing that the teachers union has to do with this post is that the union will make sure that this AP art history teacher will have due process which he should have, so he cannot be fired just because a few parents object to what is taught in AP Art History or because a few students dislike him. He should not be fired and if he did not have union of other teachers he may well have been.

    Were you the person at the last board meeting to come up to a few of us and explain how easy it would be to recall board members? Was it you who stated that there may be lawyers who would handle it pro bono? And was it you who stated that there were outside sources such as the Education Alliance who would help fund it?

    And was it you who stated that teachers make (salary you may have quoted I don’t remember) for 177 days of work and that pretty soon they will be making $135,000 (where did this number come from?) for 177 days of work? They work 185 by the way plus preparation time, study sessions, tutoring, correcting, etc. I think teachers deserve a good salary and benefits. You seemed to imply that they make too much.

    The teachers are not the bad guys here. They stood up for Principal Halt and they still do.

  • I agree with Ms. Freeman. Nudity is a part of art. Art throughout the ages if full of violence and nudity. And what offends one person may not offend another. That is art. AP courses are college level. Parents should review the syllabus for AP courses and ask questions. They should then determine if their child is mature enough to take a college level course and if the college level course does not offend their moral standards. Students who take AP courses are awarded college credit if they earn a 3, 4 or 5 depending on the college. They receive this credit because they are taught college level content. AP teachers try to prepare their students to take the test and be successful. They try to teach their students all the possible questions that could be on the test. Performance art is included in art history. People may not understand it. And students may be offended by it just like any other piece of art that may depict nudity or violence shown or studied throughout the course.

  • Shelly. Exactly what has the teachers union done to “support reinstating” principle Halt? The teachers union spent $260 to install the current board members. Please enlighten me as to the action they have done to fulfill their PAC’s mission statement of “children first” in regards to Halt’s reinstatement? Did they pass a resolution supporting an outside investigation? Straight up instatent ? Please point me to their web site where they spell out their position and suggested course for action? Please tell me how they “stood up” and are “standing up” in any substantive lobbying effort? You seem to have some knowledge of their exact effort as you seem very passionate.

    • Jim,
      All the SCHS teachers signed a letter of support for Principal Halt. And the the AP art history teacher may well have been fired if not for the teachers union. And just because someone donates money to a campaign does not mean they have control over the candidate. Or are you saying they should? Is this what the education alliance would expect? Control in exchange for money?

      AP Courses are college level and not mandatory. If parents are concerned if the content of a college level course may be too mature or not appropriate for their children they should read the syllabus and ask question. Nudity is depicted in many different art mediums throughout the ages. So if a parent objects to nudity in art then they should not give their children permission to take the AP Art History class.

  • “And just because someone donates money to a campaign does not mean they have control over the candidate. ” La La La pixy sticks and candy fountains – what a ignoramus false narrative fantasyland comment. “Control” is not the same as influence – if you don’t think that a public employee union that spent $260,000 to get its slate of candidates elected has any influence you are incredibly naïve or a sycophant for public employee unions or both.

    Ms. “Welcome” you seem to want to call me out – in your previous post you wrote : ” Were you the person..” “Was it you who stated..” “And was it you who stated..” “And was it you who stated that..” Ms. Welcome “is it you” who lowers discourse with bullyish speech posting under a dopy false name that punctuates every sentence with “ARE YOU?”

    You chime in with a post “Nudity is a part of art. Art throughout the ages if full of violence and nudity. And what offends one person may not offend another.” Thank you Professor Obvious, that point wasn’t made before. I could give you a slew of performance art films and or artist that use nudes that parents would not consider appropriate for an AP class even after signing an iron clad “permission slip” – are you hunky dory with Robert Mapplethorpe? Who? “Ahh I guess if the teacher puts a award winning artist on the syllabus? Those parents agreed, they signed the permission slip so they can’t complain” I seem to recall seeing you in grade school. the kid sucking up to the teacher “Mrs. Jones ! Didn’t you forget to assign the reading for the weekend?” Did you volunteer to be class monitor when the teacher stepped out – chalk in hand ready to write down names? Thanks for weighing with your brave and original comments Ms. Welcome, I’m sure the Union and its Board that represents them appreciate your being such a flack. They appreciate you so much we will be seeing Mr. Halt again next year in his old job at SCHS just like everyone wanted….

    • Jim Bieber,
      Welcome is actually my last name. I post under my real name. And when I said “was it you..?” I actually was inquiring to see if it was you. Was it? Just asking. people donate to causes and candidates because they support the causes and the candidates views.

      We already had a education alliance board. It was a disaster.

      Yes, it is obvious that there is nudity in art so why let your kids take the course if you object to nudity in art no matter who the artist is. I can google many performance artists also.

      And as a parent it is my responsibility to make sure that my children can handle an AP course. I have no idea how old your children are but I have two in college and two in high school now. My two older children took many AP classes. I understood the rigor and the maturity level that was needed for students to be successful. And as a parent I asked questions.

      If it is on the syllabus then complain and advocate against it then not at the very end of the class. And if I objected to the content of the course then I would not have my child take the class.

  • Jim Bieber,
    Not sure what happened to my previous post so if I double post this sorry.

    My name is actually Shelly Welcome. I post under my real name so Welcome is my real name.

    I asked if you were the person who approached us at the meeting because I wanted to know if you were the person who approached us. I don’t understand why that is bullying because of it was you then you should actually be able to own what you say. Right?

    My children have taken many AP courses so I understand that they can be rigorous and that mature concepts are taught. It is college level and that is why students receive college credit.

    Yes, it should be obvious that there has been nudity in art throughout history. So if you or other parents have an issue with nudity in any form then you should not allow your child to take the course.

    A syllabus is a course summary so if a parent is concerned with course content they should read the syllabus and ask questions. And as a parent if I objected to or was concerned about the course content being too mature for my child I would not allow them to take the course and not wait until the end of the year.

    We can google and debate almost every artist. What you find too offensive or mature for your kids I may not share this view for my kids and visa versa. That is art throughout history.

    And when my children have had issues with teachers i have them discuss it with the teacher and I address the teacher directly with my concerns,

    I guess the whole dialog about what I must have been like as a child in school is supposed to be an insult. It digresses the conversation. Why stoop to insults. You don’t know me or what my childhood was like.

  • Oops previous comment did come up so sorry for double post

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