Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

September 30, 2006

McGee made the New York Times

Museum Field Trip Deemed Too Revealing – New York Times:

FRISCO, Tex., Sept. 28 — “Keep the ‘Art’ in ‘Smart’ and ‘Heart,’ ” Sydney McGee had posted on her Web site at Wilma Fisher Elementary School in this moneyed boomtown that is gobbling up the farm fields north of Dallas.

But Ms. McGee, 51, a popular art teacher with 28 years in the classroom, is out of a job after leading her fifth-grade classes last April through the Dallas Museum of Art. One of her students saw nude art in the museum, and after the child’s parent complained, the teacher was suspended.



  1. Its sad but totally Texas. My wife, and award winning teacher in the PISD has also at times fallen out of favor, and had to spend far too much time politically defending her ‘liberal’ views (she is a totally conservative person actually, yet when it comes to education she is a firm believer in a liberal view on topics, practices and proven/experimental techniques) with the VP and Principle of her school. Sadly, this takes away from the students, the diverse exposure and also the quality of education. In the end, the lawsuit will be lost in Frisco and McGee will win, and the school district will lose another quality teacher. My wife had the exact same review degration happen to her when she went head to head with the VP at her school, prior to which she was perfectly ranked/scored, and recognized by the district in front of 1500 others about her accomplishments. Its amazing, those that can’t administrate/politic, and those that can get in trouble.

    Comment by Super Dave Osbourne — October 2, 2006 @ 1:44 am

  2. Where is America going???

    A Nation Proud and Free . . . ? ? ? Where you’re children are allowed to carry a machinegun but when a prudisch parent comes from behind his/her ‘closed curtains’ (and you know what happens behind closed curtains…….) a teacher gets suspended from her job after a musuem visit.

    What the hell are you Texans thinking??? Back to the middle ages, and please stay there!

    Just keep on killing Afghans en Iraqi people but don’t let you’re children see art……

    How grazy can you get….Well Texas shows it, this is how grazy people can get!

    Pedro Allessandro

    Comment by Pedro Allessandro — October 2, 2006 @ 6:30 am

  3. I am very disappointed in the one-sided slant to the news stories regarding this Fisher Elementary Art Teacher who is being put on leave WITH pay with a recommended non-renewal of her contract next spring. Our Frisco, Texas citizens, including one of its’ largest employers – FISD – SUPPORTS the arts!

    I do not want to have a debate on the subject of nude art at the DMA as I know very well that the district would never put a teacher on a growth plan solely for this reason. I know that the administrators, school board members, principals, and teachers support the visual arts in a very positive way. Many districts have cut their art programs, but not FISD. FISD’s art programs have received several award winning recognitions in the visual arts. Our district was honored for the Outstanding Youth Art Month Observance Award from the Texas Art Education Association for involvement on a state level. One can go to the district’s website at www. friscoisd.org and find several news articles on art endeavors and art student recognitions. Each year the district puts on a district wide art show in honor of Youth Art Month which is celebrated in the spring. The district allows budget monies for the art program including not only supplies but fine art prints to share with students in the classroom. They support and allow field trips to such places as the Dallas Museum of Art, Hall Office Park’s outdoor sculptures, and the like. Student artworks are continually displayed in our community. The City of Frisco voted to pass a proposition regarding public art being an integral part of our city. Our city has the highly regarded Hall Office Park collection of outdoor sculptures open to the public for ground tours. One can drive around various locations in Frisco and discover public works of art everywhere.

    You cannot tell me that we are some culturally-insensitive group of citizens and that our school administrators are as well. It is simply not true! I feel bad that the media attention (including forums like this, talk radio, newspapers, and television broadcasts) brought on our town has put us in such a negative light. This is pure smoke and mirrors brought on by this teacher in an attempt to take the heat off of the real issues at hand. She was never fired, only asked to improve. Instead of trying to improve, she went straight to the media bad-mouthing her principal and her employer which is FISD. I think they have every right not to renew her contract at this point.

    Thank you for hearing my opinion which is factually driven and personally driven for me to want to communicate in this public forum.

    Comment by Angel — October 2, 2006 @ 9:36 am

  4. Methinks there is a sock puppet near….

    Comment by Skamandrios — October 2, 2006 @ 10:04 am

  5. To Pedro:
    Given the situation in the world today, I would have to say that foreigners have every right to be concerned about what America will do next. Probably one of the biggest criticisms the rest of the world has about the U.S. is that we tend to see things in black or white, either/or conditions. Kind of like your perspective on Texas.

    Yes, Bush is from Texas but so am I and I initiated this blog and conversation. And obviously, I’m not the only one who finds something wrong with this picture. Even those who are “defending” the district acknowledge that things have not been handled in the most appropriate manner possible. I don’t see how your blanket criticism of Texas is any better than the Frisco parent who complained about the trip in the first place.

    Comment by texased — October 2, 2006 @ 10:13 am

  6. Well, I think it’s just crazy when people say Grazy!

    Perspective, distortion, criticism! those are the key words here.

    Know one knows how the district is handling things so I don’t see how comments can be made. Doesn’t anyone realize that they cannot violate the art teacher’s rights to privacy and therefore cannot tell all the ins and outs of this whole ordeal?

    Comment by Angel — October 2, 2006 @ 10:42 am

  7. Angel and Fisher Parent,
    Let’s be real here. The school got a call from some uptight woman who didn’t like the field trip. The principal did what pricipals do to coddle her. Now if the teacher had just taken the warning lying down that would have been the end of it and the puritan would have been happy and Sydney McGee would be spending her next 20 or so years teaching right where she was. She didn’t though, so now they have to cover their butts and they are standing behind confidentiality and throwing out innuendos because innuendo is easy and they never really say anything so you can’t really call them on it. The school district is standing behind a wall screaming that the media is only showing one side when in reality there really is only one side but by yelling as loud as they can that it is the medias fault people like you have been hoodwinked. There were no verbal warnings because that isn’t how school districts really work, that is just how an isd under fire tries to get out from under the fire. We have seen it all before and sadly it works on some people. It’s smoke and mirrors people and when Texas and this country starts seeing these things as smoke and mirrors we will be a much better place to live.

    Comment by Another Texan — October 2, 2006 @ 10:47 am

  8. Sorry but you need to get real here. Time to hop off of your bandwagon that you have jumped on. Sometimes the one who appears to be the underdog wants you to see HER that way.

    Comment by Angel — October 2, 2006 @ 11:05 am

  9. Whoever complained…Shame on you! Your children will be doomed to a very controlled and bland life. You need to catch up with 1500 years of art history, culture, etc. As to the School….You need to stand up and support not only this teacher, but first amendment, etc. You are a teaching institution…Yes?

    Comment by Stephen Sinclare — October 2, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

  10. Not being from Texas I am shocked that no one from Texas has any idea how ignorant this looks. The parents SIGNED permission slips-Why not let the parent defend her view- they cause an uproar and then hide—–Texas looks as if it is run by a bunch of backward hicks—GOOOLLY-nude folks made out of SEEment in a building full of old stuff and pictures!!!!!!!

    Comment by al — October 2, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

  11. When this story first broke, my initial reaction was one of outrage. I am a resident of this community, and my daughter goes to this school.

    A number of people have been posting comments about this whole matter based on stereotypes of what Texas is like. Saying that Texas should go “back to the Middle Ages”, that “no one from Texas has any idea how ignorant this looks”, and similar comments are hurtful, play off of the worst sort of stereotypes, and quite honestly don’t reflect reality. The truth is that I am representative of the vast majority of the people who live here–I will not stand by and allow arts education to be taken away from my daughter, I will not allow government to dictate morality to the point where trips to an art museum are somehow “wrong”. The parents at Fisher are not some conservative moral elitists who want to eliminate arts. (Nor does George Bush represent the views of everyone here. This debate really has very little to do with presidential politics, but I should point out that I am a Berkeley-Californian at heart, a decided liberal, someone who appreciates and participates in the arts, someone who did not vote for George Bush, and yes, someone who happens to live in Texas. Nor am I alone in this position….)

    Part of what I feel is required to be a responsible citizen, and to NOT be ignorant, is to fully investigate issues that are important to me. This issue is something that is very important to me, and so I have spent a great deal of time trying to get to the heart of the matter.

    It’s very easy to see Ms. McGee’s point of view. The media has done a good job of portraying it. I want to repeat a point I made earlier in this thread: if the full and complete story were exactly what has been reported by the media, then I would wholeheartedly agree that the school administration and school board is going a grave injustice.

    I started becoming uneasy, however, when I realized that the school administration (in emails, public statements to the community and in direct conversations I and other parents have had with them) had a different story to tell. I saw, in person, the administration making the case that what has happened with Ms. McGee is not a result of the field trip last spring. In fact, the principal has made the statement that the field trip is not at all related; rather that it is being used by Ms. McGee in her case. PLEASE UNDERSTAND—I am not saying that what the administration is saying is true, nor am I saying that what Ms. McGee is saying is true. I don’t know the full story, and I recognize and accept that. My concerns are around the fact that the media attention has, in many instances, not disclosed that there is another side to the story. That’s bad reporting, and makes it easy for people to not understand the full story.

    The single thing that most impacted me, though, to make me concerned about what Ms. McGee is doing, is the New York Times story. More particularly, has anyone noticed the PICTURE attached to the story? It is a picture of Ms. McGee, posing, in the Dallas Museum of Art. The caption indicates that the picture was taken by a NY Times photographer specifically for the story. That REALLY disappointed me and caused me to question Ms. McGee’s motives. Is this about a battle of ideals (which I would support) or about a battle for more media attention (which disturbs me)? The media attention that is focused on our school district is proving to be an enormous distraction that is preventing us (the parents, the students and the school) from addressing this important issue–particular in light of the mostly one-sided reporting that has been done so far.

    Please don’t box me into being an administration supporter. My daughter had Ms. McGee as a teacher, and loved her. My daughter thought she was a great teacher, and learned from her. Thus, I think it is unfair to say that I’m blindly supporting the school administration or the school board—I’m NOT. I’m asking everyone (including Ms. McGee, when she poses for NY Times reporters; including the school board when they refuse to open up their discussions to the public) to stop politicizing the issue, to stop making polarizing statements, and to actual speak honestly about the real issues—ALL of the real issues.

    And I am pleading with people here to use this as a forum where we can speak openly about real issues and not start throwing mud–stereotypes that are hateful and hurtful.

    Comment by Fisher Parent — October 2, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

  12. Angel and Fisher Parent,

    It’s possible that a teacher who got a Star Teacher Award two years ago needs so much improvement now that her contract should not be renewed next May. Perhaps the award has little meaning.

    And it’s probably just a coincidence that, when I went to find out about Sydney McGee at teacherweb.com, her link http://www.teacherweb.com/tx/fisherelementary/art was gone while links to PE, Music, PTA, 1st through 5th grade, etc., still work.
    (Try http://www.teacherweb.com/TX/FisherElementary/Music for example.)

    And I guess it’s FISD policy to remove teacher’s name from the FISD Staff Email directory at http://www.friscoisd.org/students/email/ while they are on paid administrative leave.
    (The Music teacher Kim Foster is easily found.)

    However, when petty things like those last two occur, I always suspect that something is happening more than “she didn’t like to be put on a work improvement plan so she went to the New York Times.”

    Comment by Austin ISD Parent — October 2, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  13. Dear Fisher Parent (and maybe Angel),
    I am trying to understand all that is going on in the state of Texas. I am raising 2 children (17 – 19) in the unthinking, wicked, sinful, godless country called The Netherlands (all quotes from USA press)

    I simply doe not understand why it is so wrong for a child of 11 years to see a statue showing nudity. What is wrong with, i ask you as a parent (i might just learn something here) for a child to see nude ART?

    The fact that she talks about it shows that she is just like any other normal kid. We should learn our children that the human body is beautifull, with AND without clothes. Not that it is wicked, or evel, or whatever, to see nudity.

    Please here me correctly, i am not talking about porn related nudity or something like that!! I hope you understand that.

    I am trying not to talk politics, i am just trying to make a point about an administration who are sending you’re children into battle and allowing (due to big contribution from the industry) children to carry guns and killing each other on school. And at the same time have an opinion about politics in for example the Netherlands about euthanasia.

    The rest of the world is more an more seeying the USA adminstration as a very a aggressive one, without respect for other people. All for the good cause, but i forgot what the cause was about….

    So, again, please axplain to me, try to convince me, why it is wrong for a child to see nudity in a musuem? I don’t think, regardless you’re answer, i will ever understand. But please try me!

    With love and your’s for ever!
    Pedro Allessandro
    Holland (The Netherlands)

    Comment by Pedro Allessandro — October 3, 2006 @ 6:39 am

  14. Pedro,

    I will not try to convince you that there is anything wrong about seeing nude art. As I’ve said repeatedly, I do NOT believe there is anything wrong with human nudity. My point is exactly that–I and most of the other parents in this school and in this school district feel that Ms. McGee did absolutely nothing wrong by taking her students to the Dallas Museum of Art.

    My point all along has been that the school principal (against whom many people on this list have been issuing attacks), has ALSO publically stated that she does not feel there is anything wrong with students seeing nude art. She has stated that the field trip to the art museum that we are all talking about was NOT the reason why Ms. McGee is being suspended/fired. My point is that the media has only reported one side of the story–they have (for the most part) only reported on the sensational story that the Frisco school board is trying to keep students from seeing art museums. They are neglecting to tell the other side of the story–they are not printing the responses of the administration (or those news outlets that do print them seem to give about 90% of the attention to Ms. McGee’s side of the story).

    Again, I am NOT taking the administration’s side. People have suggested that the school board and administration are trying to cover up something here. I don’t know if that is true or not; I’m not passing judgement on that. I’m just saying that it is unfair to only report on one side of the story.

    The other point I made yesterday was just that, regardless of whether the story about the art museum really has anything to do with why Ms. McGee was fired, I think that offering posed pictures of herself in the Dallas Museum of Art to the New York Times was an unfortunate move by Ms. McGee. Does the New York Times have a right to report on this story? Absolutely! Is Ms. McGee helping her students (my daughter) by posing for pictures? I don’t think so. That trivializes the issue.

    I have never attacked the policies and politics of the Netherlands, and I am not a supporter of many of the things that the U.S. government does. I have a feeling that you might be surprised how many things we agree on politically. However, this whole issue is not really about international politics. It is, simply, about why an art teacher was fired. Some people say it was because she took her students to an art museum where they saw nudity. Some people say it was because she had job performance issues. I don’t know which side is true–I just think that if we are all going to get fired up about the issue, we need to understand that there are two different sides.


    Comment by Fisher Parent — October 3, 2006 @ 8:24 am

  15. I think most people would agree with you. That’s why so many people in the United States are upset about it. That’s why it made the New York Times and you even heard about it. Most people would agree that there is nothing wrong taking elementary students to a museum where they would see nude art (John Ashcroft being a notable exception.)

    I think the more important question is why did this become such a big deal? The school board vehemently denies that the teacher was dismissed because of the parent complaint. But the museum trip itself was a part of the issue according to their own statement “The planning and execution of the field trip was a small part of the concerns addressed, but was not the catalyst for the memo or the focus.” And no where has the principal or the district addressed how the complaint was handled.

    So let’s make some assumptions.

    The principal is not happy with McGee’s performance for some time but has not provided any documentation, this according to the district’s statement:

    “The principal stated that she had observed a need for performance improvement in a number of areas which she had verbally brought to the attention of the teacher as early as a meeting in May 2005.”

    A parent complains about a nude sculpture at the art museum.
    The district hasn’t denied this.

    McGee is told about the parent’s complaint but not given the details.

    I think the question at this point is how did the principal inform McGee about the complaint? She already has undocumented problems with this teacher and a parent complains. Did she tell McGee, “can you believe that someone is complaining about nude art at the museum? It’s ridiculous, ” thereby standing up for the principles of the school district regardless of her current problems with one teacher. Or did she say something like, “not only did you screw up the planning of the trip, we’ve now got parents complaining about it?”
    Or maybe she said that since we now have a parent complaining about this trip, things have got to change.”

    As far as I’m concerned, only under one of these scenarios did the principal act responsibility and that would be the first. Yet, no one has come out defending the school’s policy of allowing students to see nude art. The district’s statement says that it is a strong supporter of the arts and the DMA and that would seem to say it’s okay to take elementary students to the museum. But somehow that’s not the same as saying the district considers nude art an appropriate part of the district’s art curriculum.

    Furthermore, the district never says how they handled the parent complaint. Even if they can’t explicitly say how they responded to the parent complaint, they could have said something along the lines that our policy is that such art is acceptable and all parents sign permission slips, etc. Has anyone heard what the district’s policy is to such complaints by parents?

    So while there may have been good reasons to remove McGee, it seems that this principal somehow legitimatized this parent complaint and included it as part of her job performance evaluation. Think about it this way, if the parent had not complained, would McGee still have her job and still be receiving “verbal warnings” regarding her performance? Would the principal have finally started documenting her performance?

    Like it or not, this issue has gained world wide attention because some parent in Frisco is offended by nudity and the principal treated it as a possible nail in McGee’s coffin rather than an unwarranted complaint about one of her employees and the education process. No where has the message been delivered by the district that parents who send their children on art field trips should reasonably expect their children to see nude art. And until the district states such, (and, of course, get the media to publish it) this issue will be about prudish Americans/Texans/Friscans? rather than an inept principal or a teacher with work issues.

    Comment by texased — October 3, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  16. I agree with other commenters that without the nude art complaint, the story’s very ordinary. From what FISD and McGee say, I gather:

    * No earlier than May 2005, Principal Lawson verbally, but not in writing, told Ms. McGee that some of her performance was subpar and suggested a field trip next school year.

    * In Spring 2006, McGee began planning the trip that Lawson had recommended. Lawson then suggested it was too late to plan the trip – so the trip would have been an unmet performance objective for McGee.

    * McGee planned and did the trip anyway – about 90 students went and returned on time.

    * During McGee’s performance evaluation soon after the trip, Lawson brought up times when McGee didn’t meet Lawson’s verbally expressed expectations. McGee said that she wanted written expectations, which Lawson gave McGee in the form of a document of mandatory performance improvements required of a subpar teacher.

    * McGee filed a grievance and requested a transfer, which was denied because of the Lawson’s written performance improvement document.

    McGee said that an issue brought up by Lawson was a parent’s complaint about their child spotting nude art on the field trip. That issue interested state and national media.

    Meanwhile, though McGee is still employed by FISD, McGee’s Art portion of the Fisher Elementary School webpages at http://www.teacherweb.com has been removed, and McGee has been taken out of the on-line FISD staff directory.

    Comment by Austin ISD Parent — October 4, 2006 @ 9:10 am

  17. This is how America operates under the Bush administration… back to the dark ages. Hypocritical puritanism etc. In this country, violence is applauded and rationalized away … you never hear a church group complaining about VIOLENCE on television… but SEX/SEXUALITY?!! Not in America dagnabbit! Janet Jackson flashes a breast for a nanosecond and the country collapses. It would be absolutely HILARIOUS if it wasn’t so damn sad and idiotic. Every idiot in an SUV or family van proudly displays some pointless “Support our Troups” ribbon on their vehicle… as if buying the sticker makes a friggin’ difference, or EVERYONE doesn’t “Support” the troops. News flash people: It’s theoretically possible to oppose an unjust war (or two… or THREE) and still have concern and respect for our children who are unnecessarily risking their lives to help Bush and his sycophants continue their war profiteering. News flash number two: IRAQ didn’t condone or perpetrate the now nearly mythical 9/11. Sorry to break it to you. The perps were primarily Saudi Arabian. Sorry to burst your bubble of propaganda. OH, and the war on Iraq was in the works PRE 9/11. Sorry again. How stupid ARE we exactly? How crooked does the current administration have to be before we impeach him? Is it simply because he didn’t engage in oral sex? Is THAT the problem? So let me get this straight… you can start warS without reason, killing HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent people, kill thousands of our OWN people (more than 9/11 btw), destroy the economy, cut the benefits of military families (of which I have experience), destroy the environment, artificially inflate the price of gas to benefit your former coworkers (he’s a former oilman from Texas in case you’ve forgotten), only write policy that financially benefits the 1% of our society (I forgot… he’s a 1%-er too! Blue blood from the Northeast… even WITH the “good-ol boy” accent!)… shall I go on? OK… lie about the WMDs, lie about having no knowledge of the levies in New Orleans, leave those people there to die… do you see a pattern yet? Oh but wait… he’s against abortion. That makes it all OK. Killing babies = bad. Killling innocent brown people = good. OH, and he set the RECORD for exections in TEXAS!!!! TEXAS! That’s like setting the scoring record for the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s a murderer. He’s broken countless (26 I believe) national and INTERNATIONAL laws (See: The Geneva Conventions) laws and is NOW trying to REWRITE the laws he’s ALREADY broken!!!! HELLO OUT THERE IN AMERICA!!! OH, and he’s trying to single-handedly break up the U.N. We’re a CHARTER MEMBER of the U.N. for chrissakes! It EXISTS to keep people like him from doing what he’s doing! This is fascism. Look it up. This is boundless imperialism. Who are WE to tell the WORLD how to run things? Like the U.S. is a model? We are the most violent country in the world. We are the RICHEST country yet can’t be bothered to take care of our own (medically, financially etc). We are the LEAST empathetic country in the world bar none. And the most violent. AND the most imperialistic and egocentric. 4% of the world’s population, 25% of the world’s greenhouse gasses. Push away from the buffet America… we’re eating WAAAAY more than our share. And we arrogantly just don’t give a rat’s behind. We seem to feel we have some sort of divine right to trash the world. It’s a disgusting “I’ve got mine, you get yours” mentality. Well, the one GOOD thing is that no empire lasts forever and I fear the US’s time is drawing to a close. And I think it’s a good thing sadly. Good night and good luck…

    Comment by E-Dogg — October 4, 2006 @ 9:33 am

  18. E-Dogg…

    While you raise some interesting points, I’m confused about what the connection with Fisher Elementary and Ms. McGee’s teaching is….

    Comment by Fisher Parent — October 4, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  19. I was a parent that chaperoned that trip. I am also in management and as such understand that the principal and district can’t play the media like a virtuoso as Ms. Gee has. The ignorance of the ill-informed shocks me. This is not about a nude sculpture. This is not about potentially one parent complaint. I too felt the trip was chaotic, the DMA staff was rude and museum was over-booked. I primarily blamed the DMA frankly, but some accountability does belong to the organizer. She should have accepted the criticism and grow from it. Trying to hide behind the one complaint is to avoid recognizing her short-comings and opportunity to improve. Interestingly enough, I never have had my children complain about her class, but at the same time, their lack of interest or apathy may be a sign of her lackluster teaching. My kids normally rave about learning yet they barely mention this class. When asked, they can’t recall anything of significance that they have done there. I have asked myself why my kids don’t know the basics of art. Why did my 5th grader not have any understanding of the purpose of the field trip? Why was it not part of unit of study? For example, if they learn about the ocean and then they visit the aquarium – the knowledge is applicable to the trip. I wonder why the children did not truly have a clue about the intent. I don’t presume to know all of the facts that led to this point as no on truly ever does in an employee/manager situation due to privacy laws. However, I do know that this is a phenomenal school that has tons of school spirit, parental support, wonderful teachers and administrators, and intelligent, considerate kids. The mission is to educate our kids and to encourage their love of learning. Under Mrs. Lawson, the staff has set its goal to drive excellence similar to that espoused in Jim Collin’s “From Good to Great”. Perhaps this is really about the fact that Ms. McGee may not have been willing to get on the bus to get us there. If that is the case, then move on and please leave our children and school in peace. The negativity needs to stop. Pursue your actions with dignity through the proper channels. The media and court of public opinion is not the place for a fair assessment of her paid administrative leave.

    Comment by Parent Chaperone — October 6, 2006 @ 10:22 pm

  20. I’m writing in response to previous commentary on the state of art in their community. I feel I must say this because in all the defending of the local arts, no mention is given to where the local artists may have learned about their craft. (yes, I said “may” because we’re not going to get any facts out of these people.) Possibly from an art teacher who, by at least one account, has been teaching in the community for the better part of 30 years? Where did these local artists encounter something that inspired them into a pursuit of the arts? A local museum, perhaps? We’ll never know for sure.
    Who amongst us has ever been on a school field trip without first having a permission slip signed by a parent? If the parent signed that slip without knowing what kind of art is on display at the DMA, then any responsibility for their child being offended is their own. By the way, has the child been institutionalized because of this traumatic experience? No?? It’s possible that they may have grown from this experience, good or bad. (That’s how life works.)
    If the parental complaint is not the issue at hand in the teacher’s dismissal, then why did it come up in the conversation at all? I agree that she may have used the state of local politics as a springboard to launch her story into the limelight. I also agree that we haven’t, and probably never will hear the full story here… from either side. If the state of local politics were not as they are, or are perceived to be, they wouldn’t have been available as a springboard. The real problem is that Texas and politics (generally speaking) currently have an unfavorable relationship with each other… or perceivably so.
    I’ll quote some lyrics that have always rung true. (kudos to anyone who recognizes them…)
    -You can’t change the world, but you can change the facts,
    -and when you change the facts, you change points of view,
    -when you change points of view, you may change a vote,
    -and when you change a vote, you may change the world.
    The song is basically a commentary on how the press can be both manipulated, and the manipulator. If you don’t like the light that the press is shining on your community, hand them a different light.

    Comment by Jim H. — October 7, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  21. What does she want?? What does she want?? What does she want?? What does she want??

    Comment by sad teacher — October 7, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

  22. I am from Texas and am saddened to see this happen. It DOES make us look like back-woods hicks – and perception counts!

    I do not buy for one microsecond that this is about an exemplary teacher of 28 years all of a sudden doing something bad enough to get fired (not renewing a contract is a FIRING) in relation to one chaotic trip the DMA. Get real! I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

    The problems with the public school system are FAR REACHING. We will all be much better off if we home schooled our kids and didn’t send them to brainless idiots like the ones at the Frisco ISD.

    STOP trying to make it into some other administrative thing when it’s all about the nude statue – at least that’s what started it. Leaving pages and pages of bull crap about it being something else only makes me think MUCH LESS of you for trying to pull bullcrap over my eyes. It doesn’t help anything.

    Do the right thing and apologize to the teacher – let her teach – put her web site links back up – and put good teachers back into the classroom. Do anything less and you are cowards!

    Comment by Near Frisco Parent — October 7, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

  23. They are not cowards, just standing up for making the schools in Texas a better place to learn. Please read the previous comment by a parent who has had children at the school for years and even chaperoned the field trip that Ms McGee has used in the media. She was not blindsided with her release. And she is still being paid until the end of the school year, I don’t think being “fired” would allow for that. Ms McGee owes EVERYONE an apology for taking things out of context and trying to make something out of nothing. She wasn’t fired the day aft the field trip, because at that time, the principal just asked her to meet some standard expectations asked of any/all of hte staff at the school. Just check out the record of Ms McGee from her previous district McKinney ISD. The principal under whom she was released, was not the one to hire her, she was trying to make a better teacher out of what she had.

    Comment by ME — October 7, 2006 @ 10:23 pm

  24. To the near Frisco parent,
    I am far from a coward. I have several children in the district. I moved here specifically after researching the various districts in the area. I have a special needs child that allows me to work closely with the district, administrators and teachers in a collaborative ARD process. It is Ms. McGee that owes everyone the apology. This school has been undergoing process change over the last three years and has year over year improved its rating, its curriculum and frankly its focus on excellence. I have seen first-hand the changes and applaud Nancy Lawson for driving this change. You are welcome to home school, but unless you have first-hand experience like I do – don’t call my statements bull crap as your lack of courtesy to my facts makes Me think much less of you. You are being led by a savvy media blitz and are far from the truth.

    Comment by Parent Chaperone — October 8, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

  25. E-Dogg

    I salute you! I applaud you! That’s in fact what this is all about. The smaller the problem, the bigger the common protest. But when it is about something important (War, Environment f.e.) nobody is at home, we let them lead our lives (till death do us part) Just read that the US of A has the biggest percentage of poor people, from the modern countries. How much is The War On Terror costing you over there?? A war that was started because George W wanted it to start, not because it was necessary. He is like a dictator, he really is, to bad nobody inside America can see that. Why this is relevant? Because, if the US of A continues on this road we will never have to worry about anything anymore. The world as we know it, stops to excists

    A worrisome world citizen,
    Pedro Allessandro
    Holland (The Netherlands)

    Comment by Pedro Allessandro — October 10, 2006 @ 5:05 am

  26. Just read it on the news, A thirteen year old boy in Joplin in the state of Missouri takes a AK47 to school but only shoots in the ceiling (thank God)

    What the Hell are we debating about when this can happen in a wonderfull country called The US of A.

    Can anybody explain to me (i’m not from the USA) how grown up’s/adaults can let this happen?? You are all responsible for the children that die on schools because of this.

    Yes, keep on blaming us for the XTC , but at least our children don’t go to school killing eachother.

    Is this what you’re administration means by “the right to carry a gun” Can it get more stupid?

    Let me answer that…..Yes it can, just wait and see.

    A sad world citizen,
    Pedro Allessandro
    Holland (The Netherlands)

    Comment by Pedro Allessandro — October 10, 2006 @ 6:12 am

  27. Hi I’m from Holland (too).
    I can’t believe things like these are happening in your country. Everybody is nude sometimes, right? We were born without clothes! People who are afraid of nudity are still living in the dark middleages, afraid that God will punish them for some reason. For what? For watching an image of God’s own (beautiful)creations??
    Come on people, this is not Afghanistan?!

    Comment by Paul — October 10, 2006 @ 8:17 am

  28. Is Texas ranked 47th or 50th in education? Why is this? A Frisco parent signs a permission slip for her son/daughter to go on a field trip to an art museum , but later complains about nude statues? Is that parent so culturally challenged that he/she does not know that there are naked statues in an art museum? Why did this parent sign a permission slip? What does that show about SOME of the people’s mind set in Frisco? This would never happen in Highland Park.

    Comment by Paula — October 12, 2006 @ 7:02 pm

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