Laura Sohm, DISD’s secondary visual art coordinator, explained that art teachers were given the choice of using the documentary in a classroom setting. “They’ve been advised to use their own discretion to preview the art before showing it,” she said. The intention of the lessons, according to Sohm, is to expose students to moral issues found in controversial art in order to experiment with “problem-based learning.”
Regardless, some parents are concerned that certain teachers may deem the documentary acceptable while they themselves may not. Many believe that students will research the artists on their own time, only to find a trove of inappropriate fare. Noah Simblist, an assistant professor of painting at Southern Methodist University, dismissed such reasoning, saying that Internet research could unearth unseemly information about any public figure.