There seem to be quite a few people who were willing to give Sydney McGee the benefit of the doubt until she posed for a photograph at the Dallas Museum of Art. Because of this, many people seem to believe she has lost the moral high ground.
I’ve been thinking about this and trying to figure out what bugs me about this position. First, let me state again that I am not defending McGee’s professional abilities. She may be as bad as her critics claim.
So what’s the problem with McGee going to the New York Times? As best as I can figure out, it has something to do with going to an “outsider” with no connection to the community. I think to keep her high ground, she was supposed to turn down any request from the New York Times. Because of her interview, Frisco ISD is now having it’s basic values cast in doubt and the student’s education experience suffers.
Now anyone who has been following this realizes that there were plenty of people who found her performance to be less than desirable long before the art museum trip. The principal had plenty of opportunities to document problems with her performance. So what does it mean when the principal provides legitimacy to a parent complaint about nude art by including it in her evaluation? Wasn’t this a “low blow” without possible justification? Didn’t she loose the moral high ground when she included the complaint?
I imagine many would argue that it was only one of the complaints, kind of like the New York Times was just one of the newspapers. And besides, these same people would point out, there are so many people who thought the principal was right. But McGee could make the same point.
The publicity that McGee has generated for the district is not be in the best interest of the children and the teachers. However, I would argue that the student’s, and especially the teacher’s experience will be far more at risk from a prinicipal and district that includes a parent’s suspect complaint in evaluating a teacher.
No one would have ever heard of Frisco or Sydney McGee if the principal had not included the complaint from which the district is trying to distance itself. Who lost the moral high ground?