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March 21, 2006

Another one bites the dust

by Feòrag

United States: Life is hard right now for teachers who want to teach the classics. Yesterday, we mentioned the case of Tresa Waggoner. Today it's the turn of drama teacher Wendy DeVore, formerly of Fulton High School, Columbia, Missouri, who has resigned from her job, complaing that [i]t became too much to not be able to speak my mind or defend my students without fear or retribution. Fear of whom? Barking mad fundies of course!

The trouble started when she and her students put on a performance of the musical Grease. Admittedly the 1972 musical is a lot more hard-hitting than the film, and concerns the trials and tribulations of a group of teenagers, including the various ways in which they get into trouble. Members of Callaway Christian Church complained about scenes showing teens smoking, drinking and kissing and DeVore was ordered to stick to more family-friendly material in future.

So, she turned to that old staple, Shakespeare. Parents often complain that the Bard isn't taught enough in schools these days, so surely there should be nothing wrong with A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Apparently, the literary classic, a staple on English Literature exams throughout the English-speaking world, is right out. Apparently there's too much dicey subject matter, including suicide, rape and losing one's virginity, none of which can be found in the Bible, of course.

And the spring production, the cancellation of which led to DeVore's resignation? The Crucible.

Teacher decides to leaveColumbia Daily Tribune, 18th March 2006. See also Prat of the Year 2006, first nominees: George Sauter and the BabisPagan Prattle, 20th March 2006.

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Posted in Church and State at 14:32. Last modified on September 28 2006 at 23:43.
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1: Posted by: Andy Gilmour | March 21, 2006 11:52 PM

I was in a Uni production of Grease, and oooh, 'tis indeed a hotbed of pernicious wickedness. As well as the intolerable deviancies you already mentioned, there are explicit references to used condoms, the term "Friggin'" is employed, and the song "Greased Lightnin'" does verily contain the line "We'll be gettin' lots of tit, in Greased Lightnin'".

Down with this sort of thing!

Careful now!

Of course, the fundies sleep fine at night, cosily certain that they're doing the 'will of the law-uhd'. And the worst thing is that if (if??!) they turn out to be wrong about what's going to happen when they snuff it, they'll never know a bloody thing about it! ARRGGHHHHHH!!!

If only we could somehow insert an "I told you so" moment into their consciousnesses just before they slip away...

2: Posted by: anonda | March 22, 2006 7:25 PM

i have been reading your e-zine and i find it wildly entertaining! i live in united states and i feel it is important to say that not all americans are so stupid. i cant believe the poor reactions over the grease and midsummer's night dream play! both are good literary works. not all of us are so piss stupid as to be worried about such mild content when any child will surely see worse on our news broadcasts! also i think the billboard is fantastic. i was raised by one gay parent and one straight parent and i know first hand how stupid american society can be about accepting reality.

Wax lyrical

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