School Officials Make Prudent Decision to Protect and Educate Students

Highland Park High School is in District 113, as is Deerfield High School whose “Freshman Advisory” class has recently been the subject of much controversy. We commend the administrators at HPHS for this decision. Perhaps HPHS teachers and parents can explain to Mr. Hurwitz why standards for what is taught in Illinois public school classrooms ought not be equivalent to those of what might be seen on Saturday Night Live.

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Excerpted from School Disinvites Comedy Troupe, by Lisa Black, published Mar 19, 2007, by Chicago Tribune:

Highland Park High School officials who fear that a sketch comedy troupe’s material is not appropriate for students have rescinded an invitation for the group to perform during a three-day arts festival in April…

The chairwoman of Highland Park’s Fine Arts Department “was concerned at the point she received a description of their presentation,” said Suzan Hebson, assistant superintendent for human resources. She said the discussions occurred at least a month before the Deerfield controversy erupted.

“I understand they had concerns recognizing this is an educational classroom environment and not a nightclub entertainment sort of function,” Hebson said.

Last week, DeGrazia shared some sketches with administrators, agreeing to cancel a skit that was deemed offensive. The skit portrayed a militaristic high school drum major who is gay but overly defensive in insisting he’s not gay, while none of the other band members care.

Comic Thread performed at the 2005 Focus event, and school officials objected to a skit called “Great Moments in Amish Pornography.” The theme song from “2001: A Space Odyssey” blared as an Amish woman revealed her ankles and an Amish man lowered his suspender straps, DeGrazia said...

Two years ago, school board member Joel Hurwitz took issue with administrators sharing complaints about Comic Thread with the group.

“The material is not new to our students or beyond their maturity level,” wrote Hurwitz, a lawyer, who could not be reached Friday for further comment. “Our Fine Arts Department has not achieved excellence by censoring performances to satisfy the sensitivities of fringe elements within our community who are uncomfortable with mainstream culture.”

Continue reading in Chicago Tribune…

This article was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2007 at 6:30 pm and is filed under Boards, Administrators, Teachers, Counselors, Books & Required Reading in Public Schools, News, Not with MY Tax money!, School Plays. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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