The eye-catching stone sculpture, which was unveiled last week at Blackfriars Priory School in central Adelaide, features 16th century Saint Martin de Porres handing a small loaf of bread to a young boy.
The statue symbolised the saint's ability to multiply food, but many have remarked about the positioning of the bread loaf.
An image of the statue posted on Instagram received more than 2,800 likes and numerous comments.
One person said: "This is wrong on so many levels."
While another person said: "How is this causing such a stir? Adelaide seriously needs more stuff happening."
The criticism led the school to place temporary fencing around the statue. It was later covered with a large black tarp, according to the Adelaide Advertiser.
School principal Simon Cobiac released a statement on the school's Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.
"The two-dimensional concept plans for the statue were viewed and approved by the Executive Team in May but upon arrival, the three-dimensional statue was deemed by the Executive to be potentially suggestive," he said.
"As a consequence, the statue was immediately covered and a local sculptor has been commissioned to re-design it.
"The school apologises for any concerns and publicity generated by this matter and is taking action to substantially alter the statue."