Background story: My issues: Political questions: I look forward to your responses.
Before I respond, I want to stand and applaude the way you laid your OP out! It is a model for others to duplicate!
The Issue, IMHO, begins with:
Children and pets do not belong in the work place! Period!
If I were photographing a model, and she were to bring her child to the shoot, I would cancel the shoot and tell her to come back when when she can make arraingement to have her child attended to. The model is being paid for her undivided attention to posing. Any distraction causes tension in the face of the model, and tension in the nerves of the artist.
The model burdening the class without asking prior permission of the class was inconsiderate and disrespectful to the entire body of the class.
If no one in the class had prior knowledge that a child was to accompany a nude model, and that model showed up to the class without taking into consideration the burden, both physically and emotionally, that it would place on the class, then she was just plain ill-mannered, and inconsiderate. Again, I would have asked her to leave until she could make arraignments for her child, and I would not even pay her show-up time, and I would file a formal complaint to her agency.
What the model does, in the privacy of her own home, with her children is her business>
But, when she does something like this in public, in my presence, at an activity I have paid to attend (and we do pay to attend classes), then it becomes My business, also, and requires an element of my permission for the activity to continue. I, personally, would not have given the model, nor the professor, My permission to continue without a threat of formal complaint to the school.
Hmm, I think it would be considerably worse if the she were a porn star bringing her child to a shoot. This seems fine, however if it makes the students uncomfortable, she should consider leaving the child with a babysitter if possible.
Well from my own childhood experiences most kids look at any slight nudity as more of a "eww...thats gross!" thing. I remember when I was in 2nd grade and during recess a bunch of kids were shouting "Eww! There's a naked guy over there." Turns out they were pointing to a guy who just didn't have a shirt on and I didn't see what the big deal was. I remember being a little uncomfortable with seeing paintings and artistic photos of nudes, but once I saw it as something displaying the natural beauty of the human body and not anything sexual. So personally I don't see it as too big of a deal, though, seeing how our culture views nudity as more sexual, I can understand why you might be a little uncomfortable with it.
What should the actions be, if any, on the part of the school?
If it's 18+ then that should apply to the model's child too. Not only for the sake of fairness, but also because it's making the other people uncomfortable.
Is my premise off?
A little, I don't see how it would count as child abuse. I can imagine the child being a little uncomfortable and confused about seeing her mother with her clothes off (if it's the first time she saw that) and seeing people drawing her. But I think if the mother explains to her child about how it's more for artistic reasons and it's nothing "dirty", then I don't see much of a problem. Kids can be pretty smart.
Is this society sexualizing children early?
Is this really nothing and just a matter of culture?
I think so, there are places where people hardly wear anything and then there are places that places emphasis on covering up. I personally don't see one any worse than the other. My religion and parent's cultural background is one that places a big emphasis on covering up, yet I have no issues with artistic nudity. I think it depends more on how you teach the concept of nudity and the human body.
Do parents have the right to do this to their children?
If the school permits it then yes.
Would this warrant the child being taken away? Would this warrant at least the need for therapy or social services to step in?
No. If that warrents taking the child away then I think taking a kid to a rated R film would too.
What impact do you think this child will experience, if any?
I think it will the child less uncomfortable at looking at nudity, and if she's ever considering taking up art and going to art school then at least that experience might make her more prepared to take life drawing classes. I know people who are planning on going to art school who still have to overcome that embarassement.
No. You are compleatly wrong. You are uptight and just like to speak bad about other people. We are all born naked and for millions of years it was compleatly normal for every one to see it's parent's and everyone naked. What the mother did was compleatly pure, but you and the people who agree with you are impure and the only problem is in your sick mind and in your vicious thoughts.
It really depends on the local's culture. In Japan (and maybe somewhere in Europe), it is not too harmful if kids see some adult content on kid shows like they did with Kirby before it was dubbed for the US: [link]
If people in the US saw this on national television, they will go bat shit.