It always amazes me that parents have no problem with their children viewing movies containing violence but are outraged when images contain nudity. An elementary school teacher in Hyrum, Utah was fired when a parent complained that he had shown his fifth and sixth grade students postcards of classical paintings depicting nudity (“Utah teacher fired for showing students classical paintings containing nudity,” Fox News, Dec. 30, 2017).
The postcards he exhibited came from the school’s library. If school officials had a problem with the postcards, why did they allow them to be in the school library? If the postcards were permitted there, why are they not permitted in the classroom as part of a lesson about art? Officials can’t have it both ways.
Puritanism is alive and well in this country. Students in Europe are exposed to the same images without being harmed. The double standard is most seen in the debate over violence, which is routinely on display to students. Yet somehow nudity - not pornography - is verboten. I can’t see why any parent would object, but some always do.
The opinions expressed in Walt Gardner’s Reality Check are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.