School district administrators to Lincoln Elementary School in Hyrum, Utah fired art instructor Mateo Rueda around December 8 to demonstrating his sixth and fifth grade pupils classical artwork postcards, some of which displayed bare figures.
On December 4, Rueda circulated his course about 100 of those 800 postcards featuring classical paintings from an educational set called “The Art Box” from the school library to get a shade research exercise. The cards contain works by Van Gogh, Claude Monet, along with Leonardo Da Vinci.
As stated by the , Rueda said he had been unaware that three or four featured nude figures, among these “Iris Tree” by Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani and “Odalisque” by 18th-century artist Francois Boucher.
“You will find several pictures which were somewhat weird, and most children were still laughing,” fifth grader Bella Jensen told Fox13.
Some pupils were fine with all the classical nude paintings, but a few others voiced distress and approached Rueda about the cards. He promptly removed them and discussed the matter with his or her students.
A few days after Rueda discovered some parents had complained to the school and a person called the police, alleging that his students pornography had been shown by the art instructor. Police predicted aff the investigation after prosecutors decided that the images weren’t pornographic.
School administrators originally suspended Rueda for a few days, but then delivered a verdict to . “At a Friday assembly they gave me two options: to step, accepting their conditions of my alleged wrongdoing (removing any possibility to voice my view later on), or to be terminated with a scathing and defamatory letter,” Rueda wrote into a supportive parent, Kamee Jensen, that she submitted to her Facebook page.
Rueda is appealing the decision and has requested a hearing to clear his name, the Washington Post is already reporting.
The problem wasn’t exclusively with all the postcards themselves, but Rueda, according to belittled his pupils to get some of their reactions.
“He said Mr. Mateo told the course, ‘There’s nothing wrong with female nipples. You guys need to grow up and be mature about that,'” Venessa Rose Pixton told the Herald Journal.
Rueda denied making that statement, and said he told his pupils that context is important and that art sometimes portrays pictures which are awkward to the viewer.
“I’d say that if you develop, you’re going to find yourselves going to museums or to areas where unavoidably there is going to be more nudity,” Rueda said, based on TheHerald Journal.
Jensen told Fox13 the scenario has been blown out of proportion and her daughter is mad that her art instructor is in trouble.
Blown out of proportion is perfect. Even had Rueda said what Pixton alleges, it seems reasonable to fire him. It’s possible school administrators fired Rueda in an effort to avert the controversy of employing a teacher accused of revealing his pupils “pornography.”
If that was the plan, it obviously backfired.
It’s not much comfort to know that there were no charges filed from Rueda. The police should not have been predicted in the first place. What kind of world do we live in when classical paintings containing nude figures are interpreted as pornography?