One parent named Kamee Jensen wrote a lengthy Facebook post in Rueda's defense.
She says that her daughter Bella was heartbroken to learn that her art teacher was gone.
She later amended her post to include Rueda’s own version of events. He said:
“In the last few minutes of the class, they stepped over to the classroom library to choose art postcards that would exemplify the color relationships we were studying. The library had several art books and 8 boxes of postcards showing a wide array of artwork. These materials were provided by the school, had been there for years, and had presumably been used by students many times before. To my surprise, some of the postcards contained nudity. Some students expressed discomfort about some of the images, so I immediately took back from students the postcards I felt could make students feel uncomfortable. Then I explained to the whole class that art can sometimes show images that are not always comfortable to all, that art is better understood when placed in its proper context, that the human body is often portrayed in art, and that the images in the school collection are icons of art history and a patrimony of humanity. It seemed that students had felt confused at first but that my words helped clear up their confusion.”
Seems like a pretty reasonable response to an unusual turn of events, no? Unfortunately, the school was unable to exercise the same level or reason.
Since the story of Rueda's firing was made public, there's been a lot of outrage from people all over the world.
Most are pointing out the fact that art with naked people in it is just a fact of life. The postcards in question were there to educate; not titillate.
And if you think sixth graders haven’t run into some form of nudity in places other than art class, well… you’re probably sorely mistaken.
As this person correctly points out, there's way more questionable content that's readily available on television or the Internet.
Your kid’s not gonna be corrupted by some paintings.
The idea of that happening is positively, ridiculously laughable.
Some people are even sharing their own stories of being inspired by art very similar to what was depicted on the postcards.
Because that’s what art does. It inspires people.
The more we think about what happened to Rueda, the less we can comprehend it.
This is clearly an example of an innocent situation being completely blown out of proportion.
Rueda is still jobless for the time being, although he’s been appealing the school’s decision for weeks now.
We hope he’ll be able to go back to his job of educating students about art. If not at the same school, then somewhere else that’s perhaps a bit more open-minded.
In the meantime, we’re thinking that the school Rueda was fired from should perhaps take a closer look at some of the materials they’re providing to teachers. And maybe, like, read a book or something? (Not one with any nudity or swears though, obvs.)